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Francis David Millet (1846–1912), Thesmophoria, 1894-1897, oil on canvas, 25 x 50 1/4 inches. Brigham Young University Museum of Art, purchased with funds provided by Ira and Mary Lou Fulton.


This is a finished sketch for a large mural in the Bank of Pittsburgh. In the Aesthetic era, allegorical figures of women in white adorned the walls of state capitals, court houses, hotels, and banks. Millet presents a procession of beautiful women in white performing the ancient Greek festival of Demeter, the goddess of agriculture. A French-trained artist, Millet painted the mural from his English home in the Cotswolds. Models included his neighbors, Mrs. Lawrence Alma-Tadema, and the American actress Mary Anderson.

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