The Wood Sawyers
Jean-François Millet (1814-1875)
Oil on canvas
57 x 81 cm
Museum no. CAI.47
Bequeathed by Constantine Alexander Ionides
Millet seems to have painted this vigorous scene soon after he moved to Barbizon, a village near the forest of Fontainebleau. X-ray photography shows that it was painted over a figure symbolising the French Republic, which he had submitted unsuccessfully to a state competition in 1848.