Léon-Augustin Lhermitte: Haymaking (1887)

Léon-Augustin Lhermitte (1844 – 1925), 1887, oil on canvas, 215.9 cm x 265.8 cm, Credits (obliged to state): Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam (purchased with support from the Vincent van Gogh Foundation), Image Source: wikimedia

“This enormous painting by the French artist Léon Lhermitte shows a family of peasants resting during haymaking… The old man at the front holds a scythe, a traditional symbol of approaching death. This kind of symbolism and the emphasis on the romantic, idyllic side of peasant life made works of this type extremely popular in the late nineteenth century. The Haymakers won the Grand Prix at the 1889 World Exhibition in Paris.

Lhermitte became a famous painter of rural life. According to Vincent van Gogh, the French artist’s secret was ‘that he knows the figure in general – namely the sturdy, severe workman’s figure – through and through, and takes his subjects from the heart of the people.’

Van Gogh too hoped to establish himself as a painter of peasant life, and so Lhermitte’s work was an important source of inspiration to him. He regularly asked his brother Theo to send him reproductions of Lhermitte’s paintings.”

Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam

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Léon-Augustin Lhermitte at wikiwand

Léon-Augustin Lhermitte at Christie’s

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Léon Augustin Lhermitte at Wikimedia Commons

Thanks for Visiting 🙂


9 Comments Add yours

  1. I love this era of paintings. I always find myself gazing for long moments, imagining the hot, sticky feeling of those long dresses and caps (!!!) as they toiled. I even notice things like the grey sky, which was likely a relief while they were doing such hot, sweaty work. I’m always drawn to the details: what they wore; how even at rest they were doing something else. I hadn’t heard of Lhermitte. Thanks for this one 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My pleasure, Patti! Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I feel exactly the same. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Beautiful work! An excellent contribution to portraying the life of the peasants of his day. Thanks for adding the video clip 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. More to come! Since van Gogh loved Lhermitte’s work, then I need to learn more. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Rosaliene. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Great figure work. The reclining woman resembles Andrew Wyeth’s woman in ‘Christina’s world’.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. She does! I didn’t recognize the similarity before – thanks for sharing your thoughts, Vivienne. 🙂


  4. Even more than his realism, I love the sensitivity of Lhermitte. His gleaners, farmers and mother with babes are so intense. For me, his paintings give a sense of pride and love present in the day to day life of these hard-working farmers. Thank you for sharing his work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My feelings exactly! I am looking forward to learning more about him and discovering more favorites. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Yvonne. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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