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Jules Bastien-Lepage

Modeled 1887-1889; cast 1988
Auguste Rodin, French, 1840 - 1917. Cast by the foundry Coubertin, Saint-Rémy-lès-Chevreuse, France

When the painter Jules Bastien-Lepage died in 1884, his supporters commissioned a memorial in his hometown of Damvillers, France. Rodin had been pursuing monument commissions in Paris for several years, but this one, in a field near a rural village, was the first one he completed.

Bastien-Lepage was known for painting outdoors, and Rodin portrayed him in action, arming him with a smock, palette, and brush. Critics faulted the artist for his subject’s naturalistic pose and modern-day clothing, which they found unbecoming of a monument.


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