French Realist Painter, 1848-1884
French painter. Bastien-Lepage grew up on a farm. Although his earliest efforts in drawing were encouraged, his parents violently objected when he decided to become a professional artist. To mollify them he worked for a time as a postal clerk in Paris while studying at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. In 1868 he left the civil service and was accepted into Alexandre Cabanel's atelier. During this apprenticeship, Bastien-Lepage won two prizes in drawing, and in 1870 he made his d?but at the Salon with a Portrait of a Young Man (untraced). In the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) he joined a regiment of sharpshooters and was severely wounded in the chest. When he recovered he attempted unsuccessfully to find work as an illustrator.
ID: 28021 The London Bootblack 1882
Oil on canvas 132.5 x 89.5 cm (52 1/8 x 35 1/4 in)
Musee des Arts Decoratifs Paris (mk63)