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Jean-François I (Francisque Millet) Millet

Landscape with the Holy Family in Egypt


Jean-François I (Francisque Millet) Millet
Antwerp 1642 – Paris 1679


Landscape with the Holy Family in Egypt


About 1670


Oil on canvas


95 x 128 cm


Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1975.8


Western Art

Though born in Antwerp, Millet spent the greater part of his life in Paris. He arrived in the city in 1659 and was approved by the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture in 1673, exhibiting two works in the Salon that year. He suffered an untimely death by poison when he was only thirty-six years old. Millet had begun his career as a copyist of Old Masters for the collector Everand Jabach, for whom he emulated the works of Poussin, Carracci, Reni, Titian and Romano. Studying the works of Poussin in particular had a profound effect on his work. The influence of Poussin in the present painting is evident in Millet’s choice of colour palette and his inclusion of classical architecture and monuments to define the landscape. The figures themselves have been classically inspired, both in their attire and their poses. While the Holy Family occupies the foreground, it remains secondary to the landscape. Millet’s rendering of realistic detail, especially in the tree foliage and flowers, reflects his Flemish origins.

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