Bastien-Lepage, Jules (1848-1884) by Scholes, Robert

Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848 – 1884) He was born in Damvillers, France, where his family had a small farm. He went to school at the Verdun seminary, where his drawing attracted notice, after which his parents sent him to Paris to work in the Central Postal administration and study at École des Beaux-Arts during his free time. But he soon gave up his job, and then gave up his studies and returned home. He tried the city again, however, and got a place in the studio of Alexandre Cabanel, where he remained until the Franco-Prussian war, when he served in the army. After the war he returned home and painted there, following Jean-François Millet as a realistic painter of rural life. But his most famous paintings are a portrait of the actress Sarah Bernhardt and a visionary image of the young Joan of Arc hearing voices, which hangs in New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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