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Prints and Authors in the Time of Manet

Jean-François Millet
French, 1814–1875

The Two Diggers

Etching, about 1855
Gift of Winthrop H. Perry, 1923.38

Two men working with or against nature: Jean-François Millet’s unglamorous depictions of rural life and labor contain a moral implication about the conditions of French peasant life. In his prints, Millet emphasizes broad planes and essential lines; he brings out his design on the copper plate by prolonged ‘biting’—leaving the plate in an acid bath overnight, deepening and broadening the incised lines.