La Fenaison

by Leon LHermitte


DIMENSIONS: (unframed) 26.2 x 20.0 inches (48.3 x 61.0 cm)
SIGNATURE: Signed (lower right)
MEDIUM: Pastel

L’Hermitte’s innovative use of pastels won him the admiration of his contemporaries. Vincent van Gogh wrote that “If every month Le Monde Illustré published one of his compositions … it would be a great pleasure for me to be able to follow it. It is certain that for years I have not seen anything as beautiful as this scene by L’Hermitte … I am too preoccupied by L’Hermitte this evening to be able to talk of other things.”


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    Catalogue No: 6248 Categories: ,

    Though he was a very skilled oil painter who exhibited yearly at the Salon, Lhermitte’s avant-garde usage of pastels earned him great recognition. Pastels, as a medium, were taken up by the Impressionists in the second half of the nineteenth Century due to its immediacy and primacy of colour. Lhermitte never showed with these Impressionists, but he is a clear contemporary of their ideas and developments and as such is often considered one of them.

    Private collection, United Kingdom

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    Originally from north-eastern France, Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844-1925) moved to Paris in time to attend the Salon des Refuses in 1863, and while studying at the École des Beaux Arts he gained recognition after his show in the Paris Salon in 1874. His many awards include the French Legion of Honour (1884) and the Grand Prize at the Exposition Universelle in 1889. His paintings are indebted to the beauty of the Barbizon landscape painters, such as Jean-Baptiste-Camille Corot and to the subtle strength of the French realists, such as Jean François Millet and Julien Dupré.

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