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The Cover
April 2, 2003

Portrait of Louise-Antoinette Feuardent

Author Affiliations

The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.

JAMA. 2003;289(13):1603. doi:10.1001/jama.289.13.1603

Long before he began painting the peasant scenes for which he would become so well known, Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) (JAMA cover, February 5, 2003) was a portrait painter. At that time, before the invention of the daguerreotype, portraits were a common and a highly lucrative way for painters to earn a comfortable income while they waited for "official" church or government commissions for more major works that would enhance their status and further their careers. Millet's early style was classical, in the French tradition, as had been his training, and for the first decade or so of his professional career he obeyed the tradition in both choice of subject and method of execution. His "public output" consisted of nudes and religious and mythology scenes, his more "private works" of self-portraits or portraits of family and friends. For the latter subjects, the year 1841 was especially productive. In addition to a portrait of himself and another of his first wife, Pauline-Virginie Ono (both at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), he painted a portrait of the wife of his newly married childhood friend, Félix-Bienaimé Feuardent, a clerk at the Cherbourg library.

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