Lot 60
  • 60

Léon-Augustin Lhermitte

150,000 - 200,000 USD
200,000 USD
bidding is closed


  • Léon-Augustin Lhermitte
  • Moisson près du Ru Chailly
  • signed L.Lhermitte and dated 1891 (lower right)
  • pastel on paper


Boussod, Valadon & Cie, Paris (no. 14964)
Montaignac (acquired from the above)
Charles Glover Jr., Washington (by 1952)
Berry-Hill Galleries, New York


Paris, Exposition des Pastellistes, 1891, no. 90 (as Moisson près de la ferme)
Washington, D.C., The Corcoran Gallery, Privately owned: a selection of works of art from collections in the Washington area, February - March1952, no. 239 (lent by Charles Glover Jr.) 


Paul Bluysen, La Rèpublique française, April 4, 1891
"Petits Salons," Le Temps, April 5, 1891, n.p. 
New York Herald, April 6, 1891
Charles Fromentin, Le Jour, April 7, 1891
La Défense, April 9, 1891
Emile Cardon, Le Moniteur des arts, April 10, 1891
H. Dac, Le Monde, April 11, 1891
F.R., Queen, April 11, 1891
Victor de Saint-Cast, Le Conseiller des mères, April 15, 1891
D.H., Orient, April 16, 1891 (as les Faucheurs de blé)
Charles Fuinel, Notes d'Art, April 1891
Philadelphia Times, May 17, 1891
Frederic Lees, The Artist, 1898, p. 91
Mary Michele Hamel, A French Artist: Léon Lhermitte, Ph.D dissertation, Washington University, Saint Louis, 1974, p. C180, no. 177
Monique Le Pelley Fonteny, Léon Augustin Lhermitte: 1844-1925: Catalogue raisonné, Paris, 1991, p. 169, no. 37, illustrated

Catalogue Note

Like Jean-François Millet, Léon-Augustin Lhermitte excelled in his handling of the pastel medium, and the virtuosity of his technique is brillitantly expressed in this 1891 work of two peasants cutting and gathering wheat.  Lhermitte's skill and versatility in his handling of the pastel crayon is perhaps best shown in the rendering of the landscape. Strong, confident sweeps of a yellow chalk convincingly convey the shifting tones of swaying stalks, only a small clearing yet made by the harvesters absorbed in their work.  

Vincent Van Gogh had a deep admiration of both Millet and Lhermitte.  As he recounts in his letters:  "For me that man [Lhermitte] is Millet the Second, in the full sense of the term; I adore his work as much as that of Millet himself.  I think his genius of the same order as that of Millet the First" (Letter to Anthon van Rappard, August 1885).  Several of Van Gogh's letters to his brother Theo in 1885, also mention a series of prints depicting the months of the year (Les Mois Rustiques) that Lhermitte illustrated for the French magazine, Le Monde Illustré.  A different peasant theme accompanied each monthly issue, and in anticipation, Van Gogh repeatedly asked Theo to send him the most recent copies.  Van Gogh also commented to Theo that "the peasants by Lhermitte...are so splendid just because of the life there is in them"(Letter to Theo, 4 or 5 May, 1885).