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Jules Breton | The Weeders / Les Bineuses / Le seminatrici, 1868

Date: 1868
Medium: Oil on canvas
Dimensions: 28 1/8 x 50 1/4 in. (71.4 x 127.6 cm)
Classification: Paintings
Credit Line: Bequest of Collis P. Huntington, 1900
Current location: Metropolitan Museum of Art, Gallery 802
Accession Number: 25.110.66

This is a smaller variant of a composition Breton* painted in 1860 (Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha) and exhibited to wide acclaim at the Salon of 1861 and the World’s Fair of 1867 in Paris.

In his autobiography, Breton* described this twilight scene of peasants pulling up thistles and weeds -
"their faces haloed by the pink transparency of their violet hoods, as if to venerate a fecundating star"
- noting that he had discovered the subject as a "finished picture" near his native village, Courrières, in northern France. | © The Metropolitan Museum of Art