millet > death and the woodcutter
I find this image to be very powerful (click to enlarge). To me it speaks volumes. Death is walking along, reaping, or snatching those assigned their appointment with their Maker. The body position of death is almost nonchalant. The woodcutter apparently does not yet want to go. He pulls away. Maybe minutes earlier he was cursing his lot in life, frustrated about his heavy burden of wood… and now – as death reaches out, he would like nothing more than to lift his bundle and be on his way. His old home perhaps in the background? Up to the left is a mysterious looking tunnel… is this the mans entrance into the afterlife? Time is aptly symbolized. Certainly if he was granted a reprieve, he would have a much different perspective on this wonderful gift of life we all have, regardless of our position.
Jean Francois Millet was a brilliant artist, elevating the common into its proper sacred place.