The Knitting Lesson

The knitting lesson
Jean-François Millet, French, 1814-1875
1860
Oil on panel

In this domestic scene, a mother or older sister has paused in her mending to help a young girl with her knitting. Millet highlights the intimacy of rural family life as well as the importance of handing down traditional knowledge and skills. The tiled floor and leaded glass window are probably based on features of Millet’s home in the village of Barbizon, southeast of Paris, but they also echo details that appear in seventeenth-century Dutch paintings.

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