Dateline: 7 March 2014
George Clausen (1852-1944) was an English painter. Many of his paintings were of peasants, which were the rural, working class in England. Their lives revolved around the hard seasonal work of husbandry (Click Here for a discussion of husbandry by Wendell Berry). They lived on the land, they cared for the land, and they drew their sustenance from the land.
The peasant class lived in small villages surrounded by fields. They had family economies, which is to say the children and the adults worked together. From a young age, the children were an important part of this agrarian social order, and many of Clausen's paintings show children working with adults, or just the peasant children alone.
The peasants of Clausen's paintings did not have television, radio, automobiles and all of the accouterments of modern life. Theirs was an authentic rural existence, much akin to what rural life had been in England for hundreds of years.
Most of George Clausen's peasant art was painted in the late 1800s. This ancient way of life would soon after come to a close with the dawning of the 20th Century and two world wars. These paintings are a last glimpse into a lost way of life.
I will be posting some examples of George Clausen's peasant art here for the next few days. You may click the pictures to see larger views.
|Planting a Tree|
|Gleaners Coming Home|
Click Here to go to Part 2 of this series