Sunday, October 18, 2015

The Weeders (1868)

Jules Breton: The Weeders

This is a smaller variant of a composition Breton painted in 1860 (Joslyn Art Museum, Omaha) and exhibited to wide acclaim at the Salon of 1861 and the World’s Fair of 1867 in Paris. In his autobiography, Breton described this twilight scene of peasants pulling up thistles and weeds—"their faces haloed by the pink transparency of their violet hoods, as if to venerate a fecundating star"—noting that he had discovered the subject as a "finished picture" near his native village, Courrières, in northern France. [Metropolitan Museum of Art]

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