Classical Landscape with a City by a River

WAG 10854


This landscape shows an everyday rural scene on the edge of an ancient Roman town. Washerwomen scrub clothes in the river, a boat sails upstream and a woman carries a bucket. A young traveller rests nearby, with his stick lying on the ground beside him. A tomb with a shrouded, mourning figure has caught the attention of the female passer by. Death intrudes into this image of everyday life, a sombre reminder of life’s transient nature. Millet’s classical landscapes were inspired by those of Nicolas Poussin, also in the Walker’s collection. He studied and copied Poussin’s paintings in Paris, where he worked until he died aged just 37.