(b Damvillers, 1 Nov. 1848; d Paris, 10 Dec. 1884). French painter.
Bastien-Lepage was born in the village of Damvillers, Meuse, and spent his childhood there. Bastien’s father grew grapes in a vineyard to support the family. His grandfather also lived in the village; his garden had fruit trees of apple, pear, and peach up against the high walls. Bastien took an early liking to drawing, and his parents fostered his creativity by buying prints of paintings for him to copy.
Jules Bastien-Lepage’s first teacher was his father, himself an artist. His first formal training was at Verdun, and prompted by a love of art he went to Paris in 1867, where he was admitted to the École des Beaux-arts, working under Cabanel. He was awarded first place for drawing but spent most of his time working alone, only occasionally appearing in class. Nevertheless, he completed three years at the école. In a letter to his parents, he complained that the life model was a man in the pose of a mediaeval lutanist.
During the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, Bastien fought and was wounded.
After the war, he returned home to paint the villagers and recover from his wound. In 1873 he painted his grandfather in the garden, a work that would bring the artist his first success at the Paris Salon.
His works were exhibited at the Salon from 1870 until his death in 1884.
Boasting a wealth of drawings, engravings, paintings, sculptures and personal objects, the Jules Bastien-Lepage exhibition throws a light on the works of this internationally renowned artist from Meuse.
Citadelle de Montmédy, Ville haute, Montmédy
Opening hours: from 10am to 1pm and from 1.30pm to 6pm.
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