Jules Bastien-Lepage

Hay Harvest, 1877

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About the Artist

Jules Bastien-Lepage (b Damvillers, Meuse, 1 Nov 1848; d Paris, 10 Dec 1884) was a French painter. Bastien-Lepage grew up on a farm. Although his earliest efforts in drawing were encouraged, his parents violently objected when he decided to become a professional artist. To mollify them he worked for a time as a postal clerk in Paris while studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1868 he left the civil service and was accepted into Alexandre Cabanel's atelier. During this apprenticeship, Bastien-Lepage won two prizes in drawing, and in 1870 he made his d?but at the Salon with a Portrait of a Young Man (untraced). In the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) he joined a regiment of sharpshooters and was severely wounded in the chest. When he recovered he attempted unsuccessfully to find work as an illustrator. A pastiche of Watteau was accepted at the Salon in 1873, and two further canvases in 1874