fig. 1 
Jules Bastien-Lepage

In 1879, when he was just thirty-one years of age, the French painter Jules Bastien-Lepage was awarded the prestigious Legion of Honour, signalling the immense breadth of his popularity. The honour bestowed on Bastien-Lepage had been prompted by the acclaim his Potato gatherers had received at the Salon that year. A close friend summed up his achievement: ‘Bastien has been decorated, and his success at the last Salon has put him in the first rank of painters. All Europe talks of him, Paris resounds with his name.’1Quoted from a letter by Bastien-Lepage’s friend, the artist Edlefelt, to J. Alden Weir, as cited in D W. Young, The Life and Letters of J. Alden Weir, New York, 1960, p, 144. The initial plateau in Bastien-Lepage’s phenomenal ascent had been traversed only four years earlier, when a controversial decision denying his Annunciation to the shepherds the 1875 Prix de Rome first propelled him into the public eye. The Annunciation and Potato gatherers (figs 1, 2) both coincidentally in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria, together define a seminal phase in Bastien-Lepage’s development: his emergence from obscurity into a position of eminence that he retained for the remainder of his life. If Bastien-Lepage’s reputation has dwindled within the present century from its former lofty heights, recent research has challenged the prevailing designation of his work as peripheral.2The three principal biographies of Bastien-Lepage all date from the late nineteenth century, when his reputation was at its peak: André Theuriet, Jules Bastien-Lepage and His Art (English ed ), London, 1892; L de Fourcaud, Bastien-Lepage: sa vie et ses oeuvres, Paris, 1885; and Ada Cartwright, Jules Bastien-Lepage, London, 1894. Within this century the only comprehensive study of the artist is my unpublished Ph.D. dissertation: ‘The Life and Work of Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884)’, New York University, 1973. In recent years Lepage’s name has emerged with greater frequency in general studies of nineteenth-century painting. A new interpretation, based on our refined knowledge of Bastien-Lepage’s life, asserts his contribution as an important catalyst in the dialogue between the avant-garde and conservative camps. Within this context, his Annunciation and Potato gatherers are crucial in understanding the nature of Bastien-Lepage’s participation in the evolution and acceptance of the modernist movement. 

The four-year interval spanning the Annunciation and the Potato gatherers encompassed a substantial segment of Bastien-Lepage’s abbreviated creative activity, which roughly dated from the early 1870s to 80s. Born on 1 November 1848 (in the same year as Gauguin) Bastien-Lepage belongs chronologically within the Post-Impressionist generation. Unlike the painters of this group, his provincial upbringing in the village of Damvillers (situated in the valley of La Meuse near Verdun) remained a potent force shaping Bastien-Lepage’s character that later exposure to city life would never undermine. Enrolling at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1868 under his given name ‘Jules Bastien’, the young student soon adopted the more distinctive appellation ‘Bastien-Lepage’ by adding his mother’s maiden name, ‘Lepage’, hyphenated to the original.3My information concerning the artist’s adoption of the name ‘Bastien-Lepage’ to distinguish him from others bearing the name ‘Bastien’ derives from his descendant, Mme Claude Médard. I am indebted to M. and Mme Médard for their indispensable aid in my research, and for their generosity in granting me access to their extensive archival material on Jules Bastien-Lepage. As a pupil of Cabanel, Bastien-Lepage was thoroughly schooled in the polished Academic tradition, and at the outset had aspirations along such lines. Nevertheless, he was equally conscious of emerging currents in the seventies – Impressionism, proto-Symbolism, new strains of Realism, and the advancements in photography – that were vying for recognition with the prevailing Academic hierarchy. 

Bastien-Lepage’s first modest success came at the Salon of 1874, where he was awarded a third-class medal for his Portrait de Mon Grand-père. With confidence lifted, the following year he entered the competition for the Prix de Rome. The theme selected for the Prix of 1875 was taken from the Evangelist Luke, chapter 2, verses 8–15: ‘The Annunciation of the Nativity of Christ by the Angel to the Shepherds of Bethlehem’. What transpired in the process of judging that competition altered Bastien-Lepage’s attitude toward the establishment, and significantly shifted his artistic direction. 

As one of the ten finalists in the 1875 Prix de Rome competition, Bastien-Lepage was required to enter into loge for ninety days to paint his interpretation of the theme. This ordeal entailed confining the aspirants into small rooms separated by partitions, working under the supervision of guards, with each entrant permitted to depart only during evening hours.4A description of the competition for the 1875 Prix appears in ‘Jules Bastien-Lepage’, Studio: Journal of the Fine Arts (New York), 31 January 1885, pp. 151–53. The article is unsigned, but American artist and friend of Bastien-Lepage, J. Alden Weir, is cited as its principal authority. At the termination of this period, a designated panel of Academicians began deliberation on the respective merits of the works. While the jury of 1875 was in session, the paintings were all placed on public exhibition at the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Paris. By public consensus, Bastien-Lepage’s canvas was easily expected to garner the award, and his friends were confidently awaiting a celebration. But after prolonged discussion, the jury rejected Bastien-Lepage’s entry on a technicality, granting the Prix to an older student of Cabanel, Léon Commere. In an attempt to defuse the public outcry, they awarded Bastien-Lepage’s Annunciation a consolation prize, Premier Second Grand Prix, which held no official significance. 

The failure of Bastien-Lepage’s Annunciation has been attributed by sympathetic critics and friends of the artist to intransigence on the part of the Academic jury.5Roger-Ballu, ‘Les concurrents aux Prix de Rome (Peintres et Sculpture), I’, L’Art, Tome 2, 1885, pp. 346–48. Further interpretations of the voting appear in Henri Amic, Jules Bastien-Lepage: lettres et souvenirs, Paris, 1896, p. 4; ‘Jules Bastien-Lepage’, Studio: Journal of the Fine Arts (New York), 31 January 1885, p. 149; and J. Alden Weir, ‘Jules Bastien-Lepage’, in J. C. Van Dyke, Modern French Masters, New York, 1896, pp. 227–29. It seems that Bastien-Lepage’s decision to render the Annunciation in twilight, rather than strictly as a night scene, cost him the votes of panel members whose insistence on upholding the rules outweighed their better judgement. Since the encounter between the angel and shepherd had taken place at night, the official position was that the letter of the law had to be observed. We know from accounts of Bastien-Lepage’s friend, the American Alden Weir, that in discussing the project during his free evenings while in loge, Bastien-Lepage was concerned about the unpaintable quality of the darkness. He eventually determined that he could resolve the problem of retaining narrative clarity within an evening setting by selecting the twilight as the moment of the Annunciation. The resultant use of lightened tonalities in the background of his composition, as opposed to the dense blackness of his competitors’ paintings, exceeded the narrow latitudes deemed permissible. 

The frustrating outcome of this episode, in itself, could have triggered Bastien-Lepage’s disavowal of the Academic standard; however, his reluctance to conform even then exclusively to the mode prescribed by the École is evident in the Annunciation. Conceiving the idea of twilight illumination, Bastien-Lepage had proclaimed his independent attitude by challenging the stringent Academic system. This bold move illustrated that he would not compromise a conviction strongly held – perhaps inspired by the Impressionist example – that the quality of illumination during transition hours of early evening and dawn represented a viable subject for artistic scrutiny.6During the early eighties Bastien-Lepage created a series of paintings examining the particular character of twilight and evening hours. Among them his Soir au Village (presently in the Philadelphia Museum of Art) and La Chaine (in the Musée de Verdun), both dated 1882, were most successful. A determination to explore possibilities outside the Academic path also appears in Bastien-Lepage’s eclectic treatment of the shepherds. Contrasted to the chaste, refined figure of the angel, their boldly modelled forms were derived from a baroque painting in the Louvre, Ribera’s Adoration to the shepherds (fig. 3).7Mace de Charles, ‘La jeunesse de Bastien-Lepage d’après sa correspondance inedité’, Le Figaro, 17 December 1884. This important article, which contains several statements by the artist concerning the 1875 Prix de Rome, came to my attention through a scrapbook of clippings in the Médard collection of obituaries on Bastien-Lepage. The scrapbook was compiled by the artist’s brother, Emile. Yet Bastien-Lepage’s figures eschew the conventional postures of Ribera’s; rather, they are posed as if lifelike, emanating a state of catatonic suspension. No wonder a critic would exclaim that they ‘ne ressemblent pas à des modèles d’atelier’.8Roger-Ballu, op. cit., p. 348. That this was Bastien-Lepage’s avowed intention is apparent from remarks to his biographer, Fourcaud, about the Prix: ‘if you take subjects from ancient history, at least let them be represented in an altogether human manner, exactly as you see the same things happen around you’.9English translation in Cartwright, op. cit., p. 19. See also Cartwright’s discussion on pp. 15–16. This declaration of Bastien-Lepage’s insistence on fidelity set the tone for his monumental genre compositions. 

The rejection of the Annunciation had almost immediate repercussions on Bastien-Lepage’s career. In abandoning his pretensions to an establishment lifestyle, he began in 1876 to devote his energies in an alternative direction, seeking his subject matter in the provincial life of Damvillers. Visualising himself as heir to the Realist tradition of Millet and Courbet, Bastien-Lepage espoused a philosophy adhering to this view: ‘Nothing is good but truth. People ought to paint what they know and love. I come from a village in Lorraine. I mean, first of all, to paint the peasants and landscapes of my home exactly as they are.’10ibid., p. 17. True to his credo, he conceived a continuing series of monumental plein air compositions focussed in this direction, and executed in a highly personal, eclectic style. The initial painting in this group, The haymakers (Les Foins) (fig. 4), was exhibited at the Salon of 1878. An imposing study of journaliers resting in the fields, the Haymakers received widespread attention at the Salon, while arousing polemics for its harsh depiction of peasant existence. 

As a pendant to the Haymakers, a canvas of identical size and shape depicting the same model, Bastien-Lepage’s cousin, Marie-Adèle Robert,11The Médard collection contains three obituary articles on Marie-Adèle Robert, the model for the foreground figure in the Potato gatherers. The clippings are extracted from provincial French journals of 1952, whose names and precise dates have been obliterated in the cutting. The articles recall Marie-Adèle’s experiences in posing for three successive Salon paintings by Bastien-Lepage: the Haymakers, Potato gatherers and Joan of Arc. was prepared for the Salon of 1879. This painting was exhibited under the official title Saison d’Octobre: Récolte des Pommes de Terre, together with Bastien-Lepage’s portrait of Sarah Bernhardt. While the Haymakers had underscored the brutalising effect of manual labour on agricultural workers, the Potato gatherers portrayed peasant activity with an idyllic aura. Its resemblances to Millet’s Gleaners in the Louvre (fig. 5) were readily apparent to Salon observers. In mirroring the poetic sensibility of Millet, the Potato gatherers imparts an identical message that labour of the land possesses moral beauty and virtue.12For a comparison of the Haymakers and Millet’s Gleaners, see Fr Crastre, Bastien-Lepage, New York, 1914, p. 45. The essays by George Clausen and Walter Sickert in André Theuriet’s biography of Bastien-Lepage cited earlier contain general discussions of Bastien-Lepage and Millet. The sentimentality of this theme, coupled with its allusion to a revered painting of an earlier generation, delighted Salon audiences. Bastien-Lepage’s painting thus became an immense attraction, and the Legion of Honour then granted to the artist signified his official acclamation. 

The Potato gatherers achieved acceptance within the system by courting bourgeois tastes, while diverting attention from Bastien-Lepage’s stylistic eccentricities. Nevertheless, in its artificial synthesis of styles, the painting possessed certain disjunctive qualities which confounded Salon critics. Their objections centred primarily on Bastien-Lepage’s eclectic rendition of the female workers. A prevalent view, voiced by the critic of La Liberté, charged that ‘leur mouvement photographique n’a rien de vivant ni de naturel, il est figé … on ne sent pas en lui le mouvement qui va suerre’.13P. de St Victor, ‘Le Salon de 1879; IV’, La Liberté, 3 June 1879; clipping from Prost Collection of Salon reviews in Cabinet des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. We may concur that the staccato angular movements and sharp perspective foreshortenings of the potato gatherers were in opposition to the contrived postures of Academia. As this critic has suggested, the impetus for these poses probably derived from an acquaintance with photography. Coincident with the creation of the Potato gatherers, Muybridge was conducting experiments in locomotion, and the widening circulation of photography was beginning to revolutionise artists’ observations of life around them.14For an excellent general study of photography’s impact, see Aaron Scharf, Art and Photography, London, 1968. Thus a sensibility attuned to photographic vision seems the guiding force behind the arbitrary, random movements of the potato gatherers, as well as their lack of underlying structure. Like the catatonic shepherds in the Annunciation, the female peasants are virtually suspended in time. Our impression is that an evanescent movement of reality has been isolated by the artist and immutably transfixed to canvas, in a manner anticipating snapshot photography. 

If the imagery of photography stimulated the ungainly poses, the psychological current of proto-Symbolism seems to underlie the evocative facial expressions. The glazed look of the peasant in the foreground, and the smile of her companion seem incongruous with their vigorous tasks. The two potato gatherers are turned in on themselves, sharing a psychological compatibility that belies their physical detachment. Their complex interchange of meditative states is prophetic of Symbolist painting in the following decade.15An interesting discussion of the prevailing proto-Symbolist sentiment appears in Robert Rosenblum’s essay, ‘Gustave Caillebotte: the 1970s and the 1870s’, Artforum (New York), vol. 16, no. 7, March 1977, pp. 46–52. For a general survey of the Symbolist movement see Edward Lucie-Smith, Symbolist Art, New York, 1972. One is reminded of the contemporary themes of Degas and Puvis de Chavannes, where similar elusive relationships are implied through unity of mental contemplation. Bastien-Lepage’s peculiar fusion of this Symbolist sentiment with strenuous physical exertion creates a strong tension in the Potato gatherers, a consequence of the strain in seeking to encompass conflicting pictorial messages simultaneously. 

A desire to extend the possibilities of painting beyond its existing levels similarly accounts for Bastien-Lepage’s equivocal relationship to Impressionism. From conception to execution the Potato gatherers relies on certain precepts originated by, or commonly identified with, this group. However, the strongly personal nature of Bastien-Lepage’s art has cohered these motifs into the format of an Academic ‘machine’. The artist’s expressive use of space in the Potato gatherers illustrates this point. Bastien-Lepage has constructed a sensuous envelope of plein air immersing his potato gatherers within their milieu, and creating a vacuum around them. The sudden telescopic transition from extreme close-up to panoramic vista – the dichotomy of the near and far – further heightens the dramatic composition. Such pictorial devices were familiar within the repertoire of the Impressionist school, dating as far back as the sixties.16Impressionist composition is thoroughly scrutinised in Joan Seigfried, ‘The Formation of the Impressionist Style of Painting: Its Pictorial Themes and Manner of Composition from c.1860 to 1870’, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1966. It is interesting that the contemporary imagery of such advanced painters as Degas, Gustave Caillebotte, and Max Klinger, was oriented in this identical direction.17J. Kirk T. Varnedoe, ‘Caillebotte: An Evolving Perspective’, in Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Gustave Caillebotte: A Retrospective Exhibition, Houston, 1976, pp. 47–59. In echoing concerns of this trio, Bastien-Lepage’s Potato gatherers alerts our attention to its dialectic between realistic form and flat pattern – a problem confronted by modernist painters throughout the latter nineteenth century. 

In addition to such theoretical considerations, the Impressionist implications of the Potato gatherers merit final comment on matters of technical execution. The discrete colouristic nuances in this painting, highly admired at the Salon, are registered with an acute visual sensitivity that could only have been inspired by the Impressionist example. The Potato gatherers captures the October topography of La Meuse and the ephemeral overcast sky endemic to this region, with detached, uncanny precision. The artist’s sensations of nature have been recorded through a sequence of precise, small flecks of paint that roughly correspond to the Impressionist method. However, Bastien-Lepage’s fluid touch has systematised the overallism of Impressionism to a degree of tight finish seldom attained, or desired, by members of this group. For this reason Salon critic, Emile Zola, perceptively characterised Bastien-Lepage’s procedure as an oscillation between the sensations of Impressionism and the draftsmanship of the Academic school: ‘impressionnisme corrigé, adouci, mis à la porte de la foule’.18Emile Zola, Salons, Geneva, 1959, p. 247. 

The ambivalent position assumed by Bastien-Lepage amid the conflicting currents of his era attracted an expanded following in the decade of the eighties. His Joan of Arc (fig. 6), exhibited at the 1880 Salon, astonished observers as a formidable tour de force. Its profusion of botanical detail extends and even multiplies that of the Potato gatherers, evoking inevitable comparisons to the English Pre-Raphaelite landscapes. Indeed, Bastien-Lepage’s contacts with British painters were frequent during these last years of his life; correspondingly, his delight in describing intricate foliage and in evoking strains of Victorian sentimentality continued unabated.19The impact of Pre-Raphaelite painting on Bastien-Lepage’s work from 1880 onward is treated in chapters 4 and 5 of my dissertation. The series of immensely popular genre themes that Bastien-Lepage produced until his untimely death in December 1884 earned him an influence comparable to Manet, some sixteen years his senior.20Henri Houssaye, L’Art français dépuis dix ans, 2nd ed., Paris, 1883, p. 36. For a younger generation of painters disenchanted with the excesses of both conservative and radical camps, the ‘juste milieu’ approach of Bastien-Lepage represented the viable alternative.21The term ‘juste milieu’ is used by Alfred Boime to characterise Bastien-Lepage’s position relative to the Academic and avant-garde camps in his The Academy and French Painting in the Nineteenth Century, London, 1971, pp. 16–17. Consequently, a school of Bastien-Lepage followers emerged virtually overnight, attracting practitioners from France, Great Britain, and throughout Europe. By 1883 the situation had reached such proportions that a Salon critic noted in exasperation: ‘Dans chaque salle, sur chaque mur, à chaque pas – Bastien-Lepage! partout, toujours et sans cesse … Tout le monde peint tenement aujourd’hui comme M. Bastien-Lepage que M. Bastien-Lepage a I’air de peindre comme tout le monde.’22‘Le Salon, I’, Ville de Paris, 1 May 1883. This unsigned article appears on pp. 146–47 of a scrapbook in the Médard collection covering newspaper clippings on Bastien-Lepage from 1882–84. Bastien-Lepage’s impact on English art is treated in a recent essay by Kenneth McConkey, ‘The Bouguereau of Naturalists: Bastien-Lepage and British Art’, Art History (London), vol. 1, no. 3, September 1978, pp. 371–79, plus illustrations. 

There is no telling the depth of Bastien-Lepage’s influence, or the direction his work would eventually have taken, had he not succumbed to a devastating illness a year later. Perhaps his eclecticism would have had greater reverberations on the course of French painting in the eighties. As it stands, Bastien-Lepage’s role as mediator between the dissident groups prepared the public for the emerging modernist order by making their innovations seem palatable. The sophistication of his oeuvre alters our preconceptions about the nature of French painting in the seventies and eighties, and warrants Bastien-Lepage’s elevation from the periphery of Academicism. Disregarding the polemics that have historically surrounded his reputation, Bastien-Lepage’s paintings are compelling and magnetic in their own right. Undiminished since his death, his work has always drawn empathetic audiences – whether exhibited in Continental Europe, Great Britain, or the United States. At present, in light of the rejuvenated international interest in Realism, his Annunciation and Potato gatherers should awaken observers at the National Gallery of Victoria to the progressiveness of Bastien-Lepage’s vision. 

William S. Feldman, Formerly Art Librarian, Museum of Modern Art, New York (in 1980). 

 

Notes

1          Quoted from a letter by Bastien-Lepage’s friend, the artist Edlefelt, to J. Alden Weir, as cited in D W. Young, The Life and Letters of J. Alden Weir, New York, 1960, p, 144. 

2          The three principal biographies of Bastien-Lepage all date from the late nineteenth century, when his reputation was at its peak: André Theuriet, Jules Bastien-Lepage and His Art (English ed ), London, 1892; L de Fourcaud, Bastien-Lepage: sa vie et ses oeuvres, Paris, 1885; and Ada Cartwright, Jules Bastien-Lepage, London, 1894. Within this century the only comprehensive study of the artist is my unpublished Ph.D. dissertation: ‘The Life and Work of Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884)’, New York University, 1973. In recent years Lepage’s name has emerged with greater frequency in general studies of nineteenth-century painting. 

3          My information concerning the artist’s adoption of the name ‘Bastien-Lepage’ to distinguish him from others bearing the name ‘Bastien’ derives from his descendant, Mme Claude Médard. I am indebted to M. and Mme Médard for their indispensable aid in my research, and for their generosity in granting me access to their extensive archival material on Jules Bastien-Lepage. 

4          A description of the competition for the 1875 Prix appears in ‘Jules Bastien-Lepage’, Studio: Journal of the Fine Arts (New York), 31 January 1885, pp. 151–53. The article is unsigned, but American artist and friend of Bastien-Lepage, J. Alden Weir, is cited as its principal authority. 

5          Roger-Ballu, ‘Les concurrents aux Prix de Rome (Peintres et Sculpture), I’, L’Art, Tome 2, 1885, pp. 346–48. Further interpretations of the voting appear in Henri Amic, Jules Bastien-Lepage: lettres et souvenirs, Paris, 1896, p. 4; ‘Jules Bastien-Lepage’, Studio: Journal of the Fine Arts (New York), 31 January 1885, p. 149; and J. Alden Weir, ‘Jules Bastien-Lepage’, in J. C. Van Dyke, Modern French Masters, New York, 1896, pp. 227–29. 

6          During the early eighties Bastien-Lepage created a series of paintings examining the particular character of twilight and evening hours. Among them his Soir au Village (presently in the Philadelphia Museum of Art) and La Chaine (in the Musée de Verdun), both dated 1882, were most successful. 

7          Mace de Charles, ‘La jeunesse de Bastien-Lepage d’après sa correspondance inedité’, Le Figaro, 17 December 1884. This important article, which contains several statements by the artist concerning the 1875 Prix de Rome, came to my attention through a scrapbook of clippings in the Médard collection of obituaries on Bastien-Lepage. The scrapbook was compiled by the artist’s brother, Emile. 

8          Roger-Ballu, op. cit., p. 348. 

9          English translation in Cartwright, op. cit., p. 19. See also Cartwright’s discussion on pp. 15–16. 

10        ibid., p. 17. 

11        The Médard collection contains three obituary articles on Marie-Adèle Robert, the model for the foreground figure in the Potato gatherers. The clippings are extracted from provincial French journals of 1952, whose names and precise dates have been obliterated in the cutting. The articles recall Marie-Adèle’s experiences in posing for three successive Salon paintings by Bastien-Lepage: the Haymakers, Potato gatherers and Joan of Arc

12        For a comparison of the Haymakers and Millet’s Gleaners, see Fr Crastre, Bastien-Lepage, New York, 1914, p. 45. The essays by George Clausen and Walter Sickert in André Theuriet’s biography of Bastien-Lepage cited earlier contain general discussions of Bastien-Lepage and Millet. 

13        P. de St Victor, ‘Le Salon de 1879; IV’, La Liberté, 3 June 1879; clipping from Prost Collection of Salon reviews in Cabinet des Estampes, Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris. 

14        For an excellent general study of photography’s impact, see Aaron Scharf, Art and Photography, London, 1968. 

15        An interesting discussion of the prevailing proto-Symbolist sentiment appears in Robert Rosenblum’s essay, ‘Gustave Caillebotte: the 1970s and the 1870s’, Artforum (New York), vol. 16, no. 7, March 1977, pp. 46–52. For a general survey of the Symbolist movement see Edward Lucie-Smith, Symbolist Art, New York, 1972. 

16        Impressionist composition is thoroughly scrutinised in Joan Seigfried, ‘The Formation of the Impressionist Style of Painting: Its Pictorial Themes and Manner of Composition from c.1860 to 1870’, unpublished Ph.D. dissertation, New York University, 1966. 

17        J. Kirk T. Varnedoe, ‘Caillebotte: An Evolving Perspective’, in Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Gustave Caillebotte: A Retrospective Exhibition, Houston, 1976, pp. 47–59. 

18        Emile Zola, Salons, Geneva, 1959, p. 247. 

19        The impact of Pre-Raphaelite painting on Bastien-Lepage’s work from 1880 onward is treated in chapters 4 and 5 of my dissertation. 

20        Henri Houssaye, L’Art français dépuis dix ans, 2nd ed., Paris, 1883, p. 36. 

21        The term ‘juste milieu’ is used by Alfred Boime to characterise Bastien-Lepage’s position relative to the Academic and avant-garde camps in his The Academy and French Painting in the Nineteenth Century, London, 1971, pp. 16–17. 

22        ‘Le Salon, I’, Ville de Paris, 1 May 1883. This unsigned article appears on pp. 146–47 of a scrapbook in the Médard collection covering newspaper clippings on Bastien-Lepage from 1882–84. Bastien-Lepage’s impact on English art is treated in a recent essay by Kenneth McConkey, ‘The Bouguereau of Naturalists: Bastien-Lepage and British Art’, Art History (London), vol. 1, no. 3, September 1978, pp. 371–79, plus illustrations. 

 

fig. 2, Potato gatherers, now known in the collection of the National Gallery of Victoria as October (Saison d’octobre).