Gazette Drouot logo print
Lot n° 1

Léon Augustin LHERMITTE (1844-1925)

Estimate :
Subscribers only

A Road in Artois, 1905. Pastel on paper mounted on canvas. Signed lower left. 44 x 57 cm. Provenance: - Boussod, Valadon & Cie, 21058. - Glaenzer Collection. There is a photograph of Léon Lhermitte in the costume of an academician in front of this pastel. Bibliography : Monique Le Pelley Fonteny, Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844-1925) catalog raisonné, Paris, 1991, p. 248, illustrated in black and white under number 508. Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844-1925) Born in the countryside of Picardy, Léon Lhermitte was imbued with nature and the rural landscapes of his childhood. He began his training under Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran, a teacher at the Petite Ecole de Paris. In 1874 he won his first medal at the Salon with "La Moisson" (Musée des Beaux-Arts de Carcassonne). The influence of Jean-François Millet is perceptible in his work. The painter remained attached to the tradition of the Barbizon school and to the luminist research of impressionism as well as to the realism of his friends Jules Breton and Bastien-Lepage. Although aware of the effervescence of artistic movements, the industrial revolution and the impressionist painters' view of the big city, Léon Lhermitte maintained his vocation as a painter of rural life. Our pastel shows Lhermitte's virtuoso technique as a pastelist, as well as his attachment to the life of Picardy's farmers. We could take up the poetic comment of Jacques Thuillier in his preface to the catalog raisonné "In this silent painting, something is said, about rustic life, toil, fatigue, peace, time and eternity, which cannot be explained by words and which is no longer forgotten. Something very noble, that nobody had said for a long time, and that Lhermitte is the only one to say in this tone.