1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Millet, Jean François (c. 1642-1679)

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MILLET (or Milé), JEAN FRANÇOIS (c. 1642-1679), commonly called Francisque, was born at Antwerp about 1642, and is generally classed amongst the painters of Flanders on account of the accident of his birth. But his father was a Frenchman, a turner in ivory of Dijon, who took service with the prince of Condé and probably returned after a time to his native country. He remained long enough in Antwerp to apprentice his son to an obscure member of a painter family called Laurent, pupil of Gabriel Franck. With Laurent, Francisque left Antwerp for Paris, and there settled in 1660 after marrying his master's daughter. He was received a member of the Academy of Painting at Paris in 1673, and after gaining consideration as an imitator of the Poussins he died in 1679, bequeathing his art and some of his talents to one of his sons. Francisque probably knew, as well as imitated, Nicolas Poussin, Caspar Dughet and Sebastian Bourdon; and it is doubtless because of his acquaintance with these travelled artists that, being himself without familiarity with the classic lands of Italy and Greece, he was able to imagine and reproduce Italian and Arcadian scenery with considerable grace and effectiveness. It is indeed surprising to observe, even at this day how skilfully he executed these imaginary subjects, enlivened them with appropriate figures, and shed over them the glow of a warm yet fresh and sparkling tone. Twelve of his most important landscapes, which remained in the palace of the Tuileries, were destroyed by fire; and though many of his pieces may still be found catalogued in Continental and English collections, others in great number remain unknown and unacknowledged.

His son Jean François Millet, the younger (1666-1723), also called Francisque, was born in Paris, and was made a member of the Academy of Painting in 1709. He is not quite so independent in his art as his father; but he had clever friends, and when he wanted figures to his landscapes, he consulted Watteau, and other followers of the “court shepherdess” school. In the museum of Grenoble is a “Paysage” by him which is prettily adorned with Watteau's figures.