Millet and the depopulation of rural countryside when peasants were not needed. Depopulation statistics, then millet and how people perceived his paintings Robert Herbert’s article “City v. Country: The Rural Image in French Painting from Millet to Gaughin” introduces the importance of urbanization during mid nineteenth century in France. Statistically, Paris and its surrounding suburbs’ population doubled between 1831 and 1851. This huge increase was due to the peasants leaving their land in turn for a piece of the textile jobs offered in the city. By 1860, one-sixth of farmers left their land, never to return again. In 1848, the National Assembly tried to determine ways to shrink the flowing population, although the need for city labor was eminent. The depopulation of the country directly correlated with the rise of peasants in Paris. This massive emigration was noticed by all, including artists. The portrayal of the peasant was thus one of the first symbols of change because it could be associated with the new hero, the common man. Champion was Jean Francois Millet known as the ‘peasant painter’ through the 1850’s. Artists wanted to
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