Pastel on gray wove paper
Framed: 94.3 x 124.2 x 8 cm (37 1/8 x 48 7/8 x 3 1/8 in.); Overall: 69 x 99 cm (27 3/16 x 39 in.)
Bequest of Noah L. Butkin 1980.269
Catalogue raisonné: Le Pelley Fonteny 108
Lhermitte received a stipend from his hometown Mont-Saint-Père to study in Paris.
Like many of Léon-Augustin Lhermitte’s pastels, this drawing shows the Marne River in northeastern France. Such artworks were created both because of the artist’s attraction to the subject and due to their marketability. Drawing from memory, Lhermitte worked in his studio, producing a complex range of marks with pastel crayon on densely textured paper and even manipulating the powdery material with brushes and sponges. Although his comparatively traditional style did not align with artistic movements of his time, it was hugely popular around 1900—especially in the United States, where the hardworking laborers that populated his landscapes appealed to industrialist collectors.
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