Léon Augustin Lhermitte France
7-31-1844 Mont-St-Père, FRA – 7-28-1925 Paris, FRABack to Artist IndexView Artists Paintings
Léon Augustin 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.
His first work, Bords de Marne près d'Alfort, caused a sensation. Léon Augustin Lhermitte soon gained a reputation for being as capable with oils as with pastel and charcoal. 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. 'The Cabaret' in 1881, this 'Paying the Harvesters' in 1882 and 'The Harvest' in 1883 used the same figures which can be identified from one painting to another.
Léon Augustin Lhermitte showed artistic talent at a young age and his upbringing in the rural village of Mont Saiint-Père in Picardie provided him with the subjects and landscapes that would become the staples of his oeuvre. In 1863 left his home for the Petit Ecole in Paris where he studied with Horace Lecocq de Boisbaudran. It was in that studio that he formed a life-long friendship with Cazin and became acquainted with Legros, Fantin-Latour, and Rodin.
In 1890 he was one of the founding members of the Société National des Beaux-Arts, of which he was later elected Vice-President.
L'hermitte adopted early on the method of peinture claire similar to that of the Impressionists, except in a more traditionally academic style. He was a talented artist, much respected by his peers, who was also quite commercially successful.
Léon Augustin Lhermitte's 1887 'The Gleaners". A part of the Realism movement and an avid realist painter, Lhermitte depicts the working class poverty in France. This led Lhermitte to continue painting scenes of rural France, many of which share the same name, "The Gleaners". Looking closely at the individual gleaners, they have more "character" about each one. Rather than having plain smooth looking clothes like Millet's, Lhermitte opted for looser fitting shirts, as well as giving more detail to the faces of the women.
Art Movement: Realism
Influences: Lecoq de Boisbaudran, Jean-François Millet
Traveled: England, Germany