Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Bastien-Lapage: A Strong Influence

The word most associated with Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884) is influential. At times that influence was indirect. The link above cites British artist and critic Roger Fry contending the Bastien-Lepage greased the skids for public acceptance of Impressionism, an opinion that not everyone would support.

But it isn't hard to find examples of direct influence. For instance, Roger Billcliffe in his book The Glasgow Boys describes how several members of that group of Scottish painters were strongly influenced by Bastien-Lapage's work during the early-mid 1880s.

Other artists did paintings in his style. Interestingly, all the examples I've encountered thus far are not French, though I suppose there are a few French paintings that fit the pattern. Here is what I've turned up:


Pauvre Fauvette - by Jules Bastien-Lepage - 1881
This is a typical Bastien-Lepage country scene that can be used for comparison to the images below.

"Noon" - by George Henry (1858-1943) - 1885

"Schoolmates" - by Sir James Guthrie (1859-1930) - 1884-85

On the Loing: An Afternoon Chat" - by Sir John Lavery (1856-1941) - 1884
Henry, Guthrie and Lavery are considered Glasgow Boys, though Lavery is more peripheral than the other two.

"Toil and Pleasure" - by John Robertson Reid (1857-1926) - 1879
Reid was Scottish, but trained in Edinburgh and did most of his work in England.

"Boy with a Hoe (April)" - by Elizabeth Adela Forbes (1859-1912)
She was Canadian, but spent a good part of her life in England as the wife of famed Newlyn School painter Stanhope Forbes (1857-1947).

Shepherd boy and flock by Charles Sprague Pearce (1851-1914)
Pearce was an American who went to France to study in 1873 and spent the rest of his career in France.


Hels said...

The question of influence always intrigues me. Let me raise just two elements here:
1. Bastien Lepage lived a rather short life. One wonders about all the paintings not painted, all the contacts not made.
2. There was a very important exhibition of many of his works but this was after he died. So what influences might he have had during his life - teaching? writing journal articles? advising galleries and private art patrons?

Donald Pittenger said...

Hels -- Roger Billcliffe's book about the Boys mentions on page 58 that Bastien-Lapage's paintings had been "extensively" shown in London in 1882 where some of the Boys probably saw some of them.