Sir George Clausen (1853-1944) had become increasingly dedicated to the theme of the farm worker as his principal subject since his earliest days in France, where he greatly admired the work of both Bastien-Lepage and Millet. The modernism of Clausen's approach as seen in these works is thrown into stark relief by the farm scenes produced by other members of the late high Victorian school in England. These painters made a profitable living out of haymaking scenes, where the general association was with good times and rural merry-making. While they did produce harvesting scenes which possessed a stronger element of solemnity, appropriate to the symbolic and practical importance of harvesting within the agricultural calendar, they still chose to focus on the picturesque above all else. Clausen, having absorbed the tenets of faith of the social realist and naturalist schools on the continent, was not interested in idealising the 'happy peasant' - his intention was more to create a "noble and resonant image of the farm worker."
- Selection of works
- Works in the Tate