The Farmer, 1901
Aimé Jules Dalou (1838-1901)
This life-size bronze peasant rolling up his sleeves is a fine example of Realism in sculpture. There is no idealisation in the French sculptor Dalou’s representation of the man with his simple work clothes, sunken cheeks and sombre, dejected expression. Dalou, a labourer’s son, championed the lower classes in society: he recorded both the hardships suffered by peasants and labourers, and their dignity. This figure of a peasant was intended for a project which occupied the sculptor during the final years of his life, the never completed Monument to labour. The figure was not cast in bronze until after Dalou’s death.