The Potato Planters

1,400.00 (+ GST = 1,652.00)

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In The Potato Planters, one of Jean-François Millet's lesser known, but most finished, works, a labourer turns the sod with his hoe, while his wife drops in the potato seed.

Delivery: Dispatched in 8-10 working days

Jean-François Millet | ca. 1861

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In The Potato Planters, one of Jean-François Millet’s lesser known, but most finished, works, a labourer turns the sod with his hoe, while his wife drops in the potato seed.

  • A print of the original painting will be dispatched to you in a mailing tube. The painting will not be framed.
  • In addition to the price, there is an 18% GST applicable for this product.
Dispatched in 8-10 working days

In this rural scene, Jean-François Millet has depicted a peasant couple planting potatoes for themselves. During this period, potatoes were still generally considered to be animal fodder, and unfit for human consumption. However, as Millet would have been aware, potatoes were the main starch food in the diet of a lot of peasant families who were unable to afford bread. Millet was undoubtedly not of the opinion that growing and eating potatoes was in any way unfit or uncultured, and he defended the practice, writing “Why should the work of a potato planter be less interesting or less noble than any other activity?”.

In this scene, the husband and wife are shown working in unison to plant their vegetables, with the man walking moving slowly forwards and opening holes in the earth with his hoe, whilst his wife steps carefully backwards, dropping seed-potatoes in them. In the background, distant village houses can be discerned, but they are otherwise enveloped in the hazy, luminous countryside. Nevertheless, Millet has given his two peasants a solid modelling, emphasising the dignity of them and their work.

The donkey has been relieved of his panniers, and now rests in the shade of some apple-trees. One of the baskets is in the mean time put to a novel use. Made soft and warm with a heavy cloak, it forms a nice cradle for the baby.


Jean-François Millet (1814-1875)

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About the Artist

Born in Normandy, France, Jean-Francois Millet (1814–75) was a French painter well known for his paintings of peasants and rural life. His first successful piece was The Milkmaid (1840), and his most popular painting became Angelus (1859). Because of his focus on the labors of rustic living, he was accused of being a socialist. He is linked with the Barbizon school.


This artwork will be shipped in 4-5 days’ time. The time taken for you to receive the package after it is shipped will depend upon the mode you choose, while completing your purchase. The rates applicable for each mode are different. The artwork will not be framed, and will be shipped in a mailing tube. You will be informed after the order is shipped. Shipping costs depend on the mode chosen, the weight of the item, and the distance it will travel to reach its destination. Shipping costs will be charged depending on the weight of the entire purchase (if more than one book is purchased). The same shipping mode will apply to all products in such a case.

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