Le Père Jacques (The Wood Gatherer)

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Jules Bastien-Lepage (French, 1848–1884)
Le Père Jacques (The Wood Gatherer), 1881
Oil on canvas
77 1/2 × 71 1/2 in. (196.85 × 181.61 cm)
Layton Art Collection, Inc., Gift of Mrs. E. P. Allis and her daughters in memory of Edward Phelps Allis L102
Photo credit: John R. Glembin
Currently on View

The Woodgatherer, painted for the Salon of 1882, is one of Jules Bastien-Lepage's most important works. The old woodsman, a family friend, and his granddaughter represent the heavy weariness of old age and the innocence of youth, as well as the passage of time. The remarkable color and handling of paint reflect the artist's unique ability to blend the greater luminosity and atmosphere of the Impressionists with the more conservative, precisionist technique of the Academicians. By the early 1880s, Bastien-Lepage had become the leader of the Naturalist school, and many of his contemporaries believed that he would one day succeed Manet as the leader of modern painting.

Publication History
Sotheby's, May 18, 2016 [auction catalogue]. New York: Sotheby's, 2016, p. 19, color fig. 4. Sawinski, Catherine. From the Collection--Jules Bastien-Lepage and the Newlyn School. Entry posted September 9, 2014. (accessed October 27, 2014). Sawinski, Catherine. Mr. Layton's Gallery--The Salon-Style Hang. Entry posted April 12, 2013. (accessed October 28, 2014). Bruce, William Blair, Tobi Bruce, and Michelle Facos. Into the Light: The Paintings of William Blair Bruce (1859-1906). 2014, fig. 2.3, p. 68, color illus. Kelly, Chelsea Emelie. People's Choice: Your Top 25 Works of Art in the Collection. Entry posted April 5, 2013. (accessed October 28, 2014). Eastberg, John C. and Eric Vogel. Layton's Legacy: A Historic American Art Collection, 1888–2013. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Collection, Inc., distributed by University of Wisconsin Press, 2013, p. 155, 164–69, 296, 405–06, 457, color illus. pl. 9, p. 169, color details p. 164, 166–67, 168. Thomson, Richard. Art of the Actual: Naturalism and Style in Early Third Republic France, 1880–1900. New Haven: Yale University Press, 2012, p. 129, fig. 86, color illus. Weisberg, Gabriel P. Illusions of Reality: Naturalist Painting, Photography, Theatre, and Cinema, 1875–1918. Brussels: Mercatorfonds, 2010, p. 26, 28, 49, 53, 137, 156, color illus. (detail) p. 27, color illus. p. 91, p. 162. Cole, Thomas B., MD. The Cover. JAMA, The Journal of the American Medical Association 302, no.9 (September 2, 2009): 927, color illus cover. Gunnarsson, Torsten. Carl Larsson. Stockholm: Nationalmuseum Natur och Kultur, 2007. Lemoine, Serge. Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884). Paris: Nicolas Chaudun/Musée d'Orsay, 2007, p. 152-53, cat. 53, color illus. p. 153, color detail p. 52. Milwaukee Art Museum News, June 2007, no page number, color illus. Milwaukee Art Museum News, February 2006, no page number, color illus (detail). George, Hardy. Artist As Narrator: Nineteenth Century Narrative Art in England and France. Oklahoma City, Oklahoma: Oklahoma City Museum of Art, 2005, p.37–48, b/w illus. p. 38, fig. 7. Milwaukee Art Museum News, October 2005, no page number, color illus (detail). Andera, Margaret, Nonie Gadsden, Britt Salvesen, and Laurie Winters. Collection Guide: Milwaukee Art Museum. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 2004, pp. 21, 68, cat. 27, color illus. p. 21. Milwaukee Art Museum. Building a Masterpiece: Milwaukee Art Museum. New York: Hudson Hill Press, 2001, p. 87, color illus. Jenkins, Adrian. Painters and Peasants: Henry La Thangue and Britain Rural Naturalism, 1880–1905. Bolton, England: Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, 2000, illus. p. 38–39. South, Will, William H. Gerdts, and Jean Stern. Guy Rose: American Impressionist. Oakland, California: The Oakland Museum, 1995, color fig. 17. Weisberg, Gabriel P. Beyond Impressionism: The Naturalist Impulse. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1992, p. 65, b/w pl. 66. Blaugrund, Annette. Paris 1889: American Artists at the Universal Exposition. Philadelphia and New York: Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and H. N. Abrams, 1989, p. 235. Milwaukee Art Museum. 1888: Frederick Layton and His World. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1988, p. 90-1, cat. 27, color illus. p. 91. Goldstein, Rosalie, ed. Guide to the Permanent Collection. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Museum, 1986, p. 86, color illus. p. 86. Aubrun, Marie-Madeleine. Jules Bastien-Lepage, 1848-1884: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre. Paris: M.M. Aubrun, 1985, cat. 345. Jacobs, Michael. The Good and Simple Life: Artist Colonies in Europe and America. Oxford: Phaidon, 1985, color pl. 1. Rosenblum, Robert, and H. W. Janson. 19th Century Art. New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1984, p. 414, b/w pl. 335. McConkey, Kenneth. Pauvre Fauvette of Petite Folle: a study of Bastien-LePage’s Pauvre Fauvette, Arts Magazine (January 1981): 140–43. Milwaukee Art Center. Mirrors of the 19th Century Taste: Academic Painting. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Milwaukee Art Center, 1974, cat. 2. Feldman, William Steven. The Life and Work of Jules Bastien-Lepage. New York: New York University, 1973, fig. 3. Milwaukee Journal, March 29, 1959, color illus. Milwaukee Journal, August 19, 1934, b/w illus. Bashkirtseff, Marie, and Mrs. Mary Jane Christie Serrano. Marie Bashkirtseff: The Journal of a Young Artist, 1860-1884. New York: E.P. Dutton & Company, 1919, entry for Friday, June 15, 1883. Layton Art Gallery. Catalogue of the Layton Art Gallery. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Gallery, 1911, illus. opposite p. 42. Layton Art Gallery. Catalogue of the Layton Art Gallery. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Gallery, 1896, illus. opposite p. 43. Theuriet, André. Jules Bastien-Lepage and His Art: A Memoir. London and New York: T. F. Unwin and Macmillan, 1892, p. 59, 73, illus. (engraving) p. 71, illus. (pencil sketch) p. 75. (accessed May 19, 2015). Layton Art Gallery. Catalogue of the Layton Art Gallery. Milwaukee, Wisconsin: Layton Art Gallery, 1890. Adition to the Layton Art Gallery, Bastien-Lepage's Father Jacques, The Woodgather hung yesterday, Milwaukee Sentinel, August 9, 1890. Le Père Jacques or The Woodgatherer, Milwaukee Sentinel, May 15, 1890. Milwaukee Sentinel, April 11, 1890. Allis, Edward Phelps. Edward P. Allis: Milwaukee, Wis. Milwaukee, 1888, no. 26. Hitchcock, Ripley. A Peasant Painter: Jules Bastien-LePage, St. Nicholas Magazine XV, no. 1 (November 1887): 3-11, illus. p. 5. Fourcaud, L. de. Exposition des œuvres de Jules Bastien-Lepage. Paris: Impr. réunies, 1995, p. 23-4, cat. 171. (accessed May 18, 2015). Dumas, François Guillaume. Catalogue illustré du Salon. Paris: Librarie d'Art L. Baschet, 1882, no.127, illus. p. 174. (accessed May 18, 2015).
Exhibition History
Illusions of Reality: Naturalist Paintings, Photography and Cinema, 1875–1918, Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, October 8, 2010–January 16, 2011; Ateneum Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland, February 14–May 15, 2011. Jules Bastien-Lepage, Musee d’Orsay, Paris, France, March 5–May 13, 2007; Centre Mondial de la Paix, Verdun, France, June 14–September 3, 2007. Painters and Peasants: Henry La Thangue and British Rural Naturalism, 1880–1905, Bolton Museum and Art Gallery, Great Britain, April 8–June 3, 2000. 1888: Frederick Layton and His World, Milwaukee Art Museum, April 8–August 28, 1988. Mirrors of 19th Century Taste: Academic Painting, Milwaukee Art Center, July 14–August 25, 1974. 50th Anniversary Exhibition, Portland (Oregon) Art Museum, December 1942. Jules Bastien-Lepage, Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts, Hotel de Chimany, March–April 1885. Paris Salon, spring 1882.


This information is subject to change as the result of ongoing research.