Page:François-Millet.djvu/150

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JEAN FRANgOIS MILLET

and the Pig-killers of 1869. But the greater part of his time from 1864 to 1870 was given up to a considerable series of drawings and pastels. He said that in these he wished to try the effects of his future oil paintings. In reality it was, as we shall presently try to show, his instinct which drew him to these media as the most perfect expression of his thought, his real artistic language. At this same period his travels, especially into Auvergne, in 18(?6, gave him new impres- sions and yet further increased the proportion landscape in his work. He tried to express nature in a more complex way, to penetrate more deeply into it, ff to grope into the bowels of it with constancy and labour" as he wrote after Bernard Palissy. Burty says that, in his last years he even came to " trying to put too many things into his painting. On a wall, a stone, the bark of a tree, he tried to make us see the successive deposits laid by time." But if his mind became more rich and complex, his heart grew more pure and tender with age ; and his dark vision of country life was pierced towards the close of his days by a calmer feeling and by a domestic gentleness

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