You might’ve seen it hanging in some grandma’s living room. This little painting, The Angelus, shows a couple stopping to pray during their farm chores in the evening. It’s got the stuff grandmas tend to love: farming, warmth, soft colors, and praying. When it was first displayed in Paris in 1857, though, this painting really upset people. Like many paintings by Jean-Francois Millet, this one angered wealthy art types who objected to the way it glorified poor peasants. Art was for depicting dignified things, like lords and ladies and historical events and Greek myths and things like that. It was not for poor people.

Millet’s art, called ugly and shocking by some, taps his roots among the rural working poor.