No. 433: Millet and Modern Art; Vénus Noire

Episode No. 433 features curator Simon Kelly and author/historian Robin Mitchell.

Along with Maite van Dijk of Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, Kelly is the curator of “Millet and Modern Art: From Van Gogh to Dali.” It’s at the Saint Louis Art Museum through May 17. The exhibition examines, for the first time, Jean-François Millet’s influence on succeeding generations of painters, from Cezanne and Pissarro to Monet, Gauguin and even Homer, Modersohn-Becker, Munch and Picasso. The smart, richly illustrated exhibition catalogue was published by the museums in association with Yale University Press. Amazon offers it for $27.

On the second segment, Robin Mitchell discusses her new book “Vénus Noire: Black Women and Colonial Fantasies in Nineteenth-Century France.”  The book examines how images of Black women helped shape France’s post-revolutionary identity, particularly in response to the French defeat in the Haitian Revolution. Mitchell particularly focuses on Sarah Baartmann, Ourika, a West African girl effectively kept as a house pet by a French noblewoman, and Jeanne Duval, the partner of Charles Baudelaire who was painted (and un-painted) by Courbet and Manet. Mitchell is an assistant professor at California State University, Channel Islands. “Vénus Noire” was published by University of Georgia Press. Amazon offers it for $35.

Air date: February 20, 2020.

Jean-François Millet, The Angelus, ca. 1857-59.

Jean-François Millet, Man with a Hoe, 1860-62.

Jean-François Millet, The Bather, 1846-48.

Jean-François Millet, Diana Resting, ca. 1845.

Jean-François Millet, The Shooting Stars, 1847-48.

Jean-François Millet, In the Auvergne, ca. 1866-69.

Jean-François Millet, The Plain, ca. 1868.

Jean-François Millet, Church at Greville, 1871-74.

Jean-François Millet, November (destroyed), ca. 1870.

Jean-François Millet, Washerwoman, Study, 1880.

Camille Pissarro, Peasant GIrl with a Straw Hat, 1881.

Jean-François Millet, Harvesters Resting (Ruth and Boaz), 1850-53.

Claude Monet, Grainstack in the Morning, Snow Effect, 1891.

Jean-François Millet, Haystacks Autumn, ca. 1874.

Paul Cezanne, Man with a Vest, ca. 1873

Jean-François Millet, The End of the Workday, 1865.

Jean-François Millet, The Reaper, ca. 1852.

Paul Cezanne, The Reaper (after Millet), after 1879.

Jean-François Millet, Hagar and Ishmael, 1848-49.

Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, Orpheus, 1883.

Frederic Bazille Ruth and Boaz, ca. 1870.

Henri Matisse, Blue Nude (Memory of Biskra), 1907.

Georges Seurat, The Stone Breaker, 1882.

Georges Seurat, Woman Bending, Viewed from Behind, ca. 1885.

Emile Bernard, The Harvest, 1888.

Paul Serusier, The Seaweed Gatherer, ca. 1890.

Paul Gauguin, The Breton Shepherdess, 1886.

Jean-François Millet, The Sower, 1850.

Vincent van Gogh, The Sower, 1888.

Salvador Dali, Archeological Reminiscence of Millet’s Angelus, ca. 1934.

Vincent van Gogh, Peasant Woman Gleaning, 1885.

Vincent van Gogh, Peasant Woman Gleaning, 1885.

Vincent van Gogh, The Sower, 1888.

Vincent van Gogh, The Siesta (after Millet), 1889-90.

Jean-François Millet, Noonday Rest, 1866.

Pablo Picasso, Sleeping Peasants, 1919.

Winslow Homer, The Sower, 1878.

John Singer Sargent, Noon (after Millet), ca. 1875.

Paula Modersohn-Becker, Two Girls in Front of Birch Trees, 1905.

Natalia Gontcharova, Planting Potatoes, 1908-09.

Kazimir Malevich, The Woodcutter, 1912.

Charles-Henri-Joseph Cordier, African Venus, 1851.

Sophie de Tott, Ourika, 1793.

Anonymous, Portrait d’Ourika, 1923.

Gustave Courbet, The Painter’s Studio, 1855.

Edouard Manet, Baudelaire’s Mistress, Reclining (Jeanne Duval), 1862.

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