Léon Lhermitte (1844 – 1925): Paying the Harvesters, 1882

5/26/2021, 4:30:49 PM
Léon Lhermitte (1844 – 1925): Paying the Harvesters, 1882, Oil on canvas, 215 x 272 cm, Grand Palais - Musée d'Orsay, Paris Léon Lhermitte came from a humble family and for many years earned his living with minor engraving work in France and England, before winning recognition at the Salon from 1874. Fame came after 1880, when the artist successively entered several large paintings depicting the life and people of his native village of Mont-Saint-Père. In 1882 he painted 'Paying the Harvesters', which was his first major success. At the time he was one of the well-known figures in the artistic world who defended independent art in the face of the inertia of academic institutions The subject and technique of 'Paying the Harvester' belong to the Naturalist movement. However Lhermitte did not make this painting into a manifesto against the grinding toil of agricultural labourers. He was content with a bald statement devoid of polemics in which he uses his great artistic skill, from the remarkably balanced overall composition to the extremely precise rendering of the tiniest details. (Musée d'Orsay)

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