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October by Jules Bastien-Lepage

    October by Jules Bastien-Lepage

    October by Jules Bastien-Lepage was created in 1878. The painting is in National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne. The size of the work is 180,7 x 196 cm and is made of oil on canvas.

    October, exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1879, is one of a pair of harvest scenes that marked a new direction in Jules Bastien-Lepage’s career as a painter. The earlier of the two works, The haymakers (Musée d’Orsay, Paris), exhibited at the Salon in 1878, shows two weary haymakers resting in the summer heat; by contrast, October is an account of the bleak autumnal potato harvest, set in a bare, featureless landscape. October was painted at the artist’s native village of Damvillers, in the Meuse Valley to the northeast of Paris. Here, inspired by the example of Millet and Courbet, Bastien-Lepage had planned to paint rural life as he knew it, celebrating its hardships as well as the inherent dignity of the peasants themselves. Read more in National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne.

    About the Artist: Jules Bastien-Lepage was a French painter closely associated with the beginning of naturalism, an artistic style that emerged from the later phase of the Realist movement. Bastien-Lepage was born in the village of Damvillers, Meuse, and spent his childhood there. His first teacher was his father, himself an artist. His first formal training was at Verdun. Prompted by a love of art, he went to Paris in 1867, where he was admitted to the École des Beaux-arts, working under Cabanel. He was awarded first place for drawing, but spent most of his time working alone, only occasionally appearing in class.

    His initial success was confirmed in 1875 by the First Communion, a picture of a little girl minutely worked up in manner that was compared to Hans Holbein, and a Portrait of M. Hayern. In 1875, he took second place in the competition for the Prix de Rome with his Angels appearing to the Shepherds, exhibited again at the Exposition Universelle in 1878. Read more…

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