Romain Rolland believed, ‘It is the artist’s business to create sunshine when the sun fails.’ Jean–François Millet remained true to this ideal in his unique ways all through his life. The Barbizon School of art came into existence holding his hands. The pastoral scenes he painted encapsulated the ‘true humanity and great poetry’ of those toiling hard in the fields under the naked sun for hours. But perhaps his greatest achievement lied in kindling the flames of inspiration in the hearts of generations of artists following him, including that of Vincent van Gogh and Salvador Dalí.
Jean–François Millet (October 4, 1814 – January 20, 1875) was born in a relatively well off peasant family in Gruchy, Normandy. Since an early age, he had started picking up the nuances of art. Poussin’s evocative paintings influenced him greatly. He later recalled, ‘I could look at Poussin’s pictures forever and ever and always learn something.’
Millet had to wait for a considerable period of time before he could earn critical acclaim through his art. Exhibition of his painting Harvesters Resting in the Salon in 1853 proved to be a turning point. His final years were marked by success. But some of his most important commissions remained unfinished due to his worsening health condition and eventual death. His art could best be defined using his own words:
I want to put strongly and completely all that is necessary, for things weakly said might as well not be said at all.
Paris based fashion designer Martial Tapolo showcased his S/S 2013 collection during Black Fashion Week Paris. Originally from Cameroon, Tapolo brought drama on the catwalk with a powerful collection that dripped elegance. these pieces are talking by themselves. All pictures by Nicolas Romain.