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Louise-Antoinette Feuardent

Jean-François Millet1841

The J. Paul Getty Museum

The J. Paul Getty Museum

Before Jean-François Millet achieved international success as a painter of peasant life, he earned his early living as a portraitist. Here, he depicted Louise-Antoinette Feuardent, the wife of his lifelong friend Félix-Bienaimé Feuardent, a clerk in the library at Cherbourg. In this portrait painted shortly after her marriage, Louise-Antoinette prominently displays her wedding band on her left hand. In a style reminiscent of seventeenth-century Dutch painters, Millet painted the modestly dressed sitter against a plain background using a limited palette. Louise-Antoinette looks out of the picture, her brown eyes calmly assessing the viewer. Through a tightly controlled composition and a careful balance of monochromatic tones, Millet captured Louise-Antoinette's self-containment, reserve, and poised composure.

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