Joan of Arc, the medieval teenaged martyr from the province of Lorraine, gained new status as a patriotic symbol after France ceded the territory to Germany following the Franco-Prussian War (1870–71). Bastien-Lepage, a native of Lorraine, depicts the moment when Saints Michael, Margaret, and Catherine appear to Joan in her parents’ garden, rousing her to fight against the English invaders in the Hundred Years War. When the painting was exhibited in the Salon of 1880, critics praised the expressiveness of the principal figure, but found the saints’ presence at odds with Bastien-Lepage’s naturalistic style.
The Artist: Jules Bastien-Lepage lived for only thirty-six years, but he made a large impact on the French art world of the second half of the nineteenth century (see Additional Images, fig. 1, and Augustus Saint-Gaudens’s medallion made in tribute to him, The Met, 12.76.4). Like Joan of Arc, he was a product of a poor family from the rural province of Lorraine in the northeast of France. The painter became a student of Alexandre Cabanel at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1867 and began to exhibit at the Salon in 1870. In 1874, a portrait and a rustic landscape he showed at the Salon brought him success in both genres, launching his renown as an academically-trained proponent of naturalism. In his later years, including the period of this painting, he had begun to respond to the Impressionists’ use of freer brushwork and lighter colors. Previously wounded in the chest during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, he died young in 1884 of stomach cancer (McC[onkey] 1980).
The Painting: How to represent an otherworldly moment in the everyday life of an extraordinary girl? This was the challenge Bastien-Lepage faced when setting himself the task of a large-scale depiction of the thirteen-year-old Joan of Arc (ca. 1412–1431) hearing the voices of three saints while winding wool in her backyard in Domrémy. In preparation for the picture, Bastien-Lepage visited the village, not far from his birthplace of Damvillers (McC[onkey] 1980). The detailed garden setting is said to be based on the yard of his family home (Studio 1885), and it is informed by a careful study of the region’s plant life.
Contrasting with this fidelity to nature is the miraculous apparition of Saints Michael (in armor), Margaret, and Catherine hovering in the air at the upper left. Joan is caught between these two worlds. The model for her figure has been identified as Marie-Adèle Robert, Bastien-Lepage’s cousin, who had posed for two of his previous Salon genre scenes, but her face is said to be a composite of two young local girls (see Studio 1885, Weir 1896, Feldman 1973, and Aubrun 1985). Joan pauses in her chores, abandoning her spinning wheel and overturning her chair, and stares into the distance. Her seemingly-possessed wide-open clear blue eyes, feverishly flushed cheeks, and upturned gaze suggest that she has been transported into a moment of mystical communion with the saints, who have come to convince her to fight against the English invaders in the Hundred Years War. Still, she remains tied to the earthly realm, standing barefoot with her toes clenched, digging into the ground, wearing the traditional peasant dress of Lorraine: a loose-necked white blouse, long grey overblouse with puffed sleeves, and long brown skirt that covers her down to her dirty feet. Her clenched foot betrays the tension of her body (and the intensity of her vision), while her proper left hand hangs on to the end of a tree limb, steadying her while she listens to the voices of the saints.
Evolution of the Composition: In 1875, Bastien-Lepage painted a portrait of Henri Alexandre Wallon (see Additional Images, fig. 2), a biographer of Joan of Arc (on Wallon’s influence on the painter, see Studio 1885 and Feldman 1973); that same year, he began to make studies for a picture of her. The composition evolved from a more conventional conception of Joan kneeling in prayer before an altar, to a scene of the girl at her spinning wheel in her father’s orchard, to the final image (de Fourcaud 1885, McC[onkey] 1980). Prince Bojidar Karageorgevitch (1890), a friend of Bastien-Lepage’s, recalled that the composition was inspired by an incident in which the artist’s mother experienced a vision after returning from the fields, weary from farming. Bastien-Lepage decided to place the saints behind Joan, while she looks forward and up, out of the picture, only after a heated discussion over whether to include the saints in his depiction with his friend and biographer André Theuriet, who believed it would be a mistake (Theuriet 1892, McC[onkey] 1980, and McConkey 1982). There are several historical and contemporary precedents for this formal arrangement that Bastien-Lepage may have known, including Léon Benouville’s 1859 picture, which hung in Joan’s family cottage in Domrémy and served as the frontispiece for Wallon’s biography of Joan (see Additional Images, figs. 3–5).
Preliminary Studies: Early on, Julia Cartwright (1894) noted that the painter had made seven or eight studies for the painting. Marie-Madeleine Aubrun (1985) catalogued fourteen drawings as studies for it. The black chalk study at the Yale University Art Gallery (see Additional Images, fig. 6) illustrates Bastien-Lepage’s working method. The study was divided into two sheets just as the painter subsequently used two large canvases, sewn together in the middle, to paint this over-life-size scene. Masters in Art: Bastien-Lepage (1908) indicated that the artist doubled the size of the work to incorporate the saints into the composition. If correct, this statement confirms that Bastien-Lepage started with the figure of Joan, perhaps intending that viewers would simply imagine her holy vision, and only later added the embodiments of the saints.
Reception: In its first major public appearance at the Paris Salon of 1880, the picture was widely discussed in the press but received mixed reviews. Many critics appreciated Bastien-Lepage’s compellingly lifelike portrayal of Joan and his evocation of her inner state. Fellow naturalist artists like Marie Bashkirtseff, Jules Breton, and Benjamin-Constant praised the picture, and several commentators vociferously bemoaned the fact that the French state failed to purchase it before the American collector Erwin Davis quickly acquired it from the artist in 1880.
However, numerous contemporary critics objected mightily to the disjunction between the representation of the saints, floating in mid-air, and the otherwise highly realistic scene (see the many references below, particularly Joris-Karl Huysmans’  discussion of its "false naturalism"). Bastien-Lepage was so disappointed in the critical reception of the picture that he soon fled Paris to exhibit in London, leaving incomplete his painting of Ophelia, a similar composition showing the tragic young maiden of Shakespeare’s Hamlet surrounded by greenery (1881; see Additional Images, fig. 7).
The Theme: Much has been written about Joan of Arc, both factual and theoretical. That at a young age this medieval figure had visions of the saints that brought her to her calling as a warrior for her people appears to be fact, but the source of those visions has been debated. Recent scholars (both historical and medical) have discussed such possible sources as epilepsy, migraines, tuberculosis, and schizophrenia. In the painter’s time, critics compared the hysterics who populated the Salpêtrière sanitarium of Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot with Bastien-Lepage’s own image of Joan (Feldman 1973, McConkey 1982, and Berman 1982).
The subject of Joan of Arc had been popular throughout the nineteenth century, but the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 provided the catalyst for the fervent revival of her cult. Her native region of Lorraine was annexed to Germany at the end of the war, making Joan an ideal symbol of France’s hoped-for resurgence in the wake of a crushing military defeat. Even as late as 1879, when Bastien-Lepage painted this picture, postwar morale throughout France was low, and sculptures and paintings of Joan of Arc flooded the Salons of the time. As Bastien-Lepage was also from Lorraine, he would have been keenly aware of Joan of Arc’s legendary power. However, rather than take up the more typical image of Joan dressed for battle in a man’s metal armor, leading French troops to victory—like Emmanuel Frémiet’s 1874 gilded bronze equestrian statue in the Place des Pyramides—, he seized on the story of her patriotic awakening, a fitting subject given France’s sunken national spirits.
Erwin Davis, New York (1880–89; bought from the artist through J. Alden Weir for $4,000; his sale, Ortgies, New York, March 19–20, 1889, no. 145, for $23,700, bought in)
Ghent. Casino. "Tentoonstelling," 1880, no. 27.
Paris. Salon. May 1–?, 1880, no. 177 (as "Jeanne d'Arc").
New York. Society of American Artists. "Fourth Annual Exhibition," March 28–April 29, 1881, no. 26.
Boston. New England Manufacturers' and Mechanics' Institute. "Second Annual Exhibition Fair," September 6–November ?, 1882, no cat. number (ill., with a note that it will be added to the exhibition "about October 10th").
Paris. École Nationale des Beaux-Arts. "Exposition des oeuvres de Jules Bastien-Lepage," March–April 1885, no.112 (as "Jeanne d'Arc écoutant les voix," lent by M. Davis).
Paris. Exposition Internationale Universelle. "Exposition centennale de l'art français (1789–1889)," May–November 1889, no. 18 (lent by M. Davis).
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "The Taste of the Seventies," April 2–September 10, 1946, no. 63.
New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen. "Jeanne d'Arc: Les tableaux de l'Histoire, 1820–1920," May 30–September 1, 2003, no. 68.
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. "The Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920," February 4–May 6, 2007, no. 103.
Berlin. Neue Nationalgalerie. "Französische Meisterwerke des 19. Jahrhunderts aus dem Metropolitan Museum of Art," June 1–October 7, 2007, unnumbered cat.
"Chronique française et étrangère." L'Art 19 (1879), p. 142, states that Bastien-Lepage is working on this picture, intended for the next Salon.
Marie Bashkirtseff. Journal entry. April 30, 1880 [published in "Journal de Marie Bashkirtseff," Paris, 1928, vol. 2, pp. 184–85], praises the picture, especially the figure of Joan, after having seen it at the Salon.
Ph[ilippe]. de Chennevières. "Le Salon de 1880." Gazette des beaux-arts 21 (June 1880), pp. 511–12 [reprinted as "Le Salon de peinture en 1880," 1880], states that the subject has never been better understood, but criticizes the composition; remarks that the picture should be acquired for the French national collections.
Olivier Merson. "Salon de 1880." Le Monde Illustré 47 (July 3, 1880), p. 10.
Henri Olleris. Mémento du Salon de peinture de gravure et de sculpture en 1880. Paris, 1880, pp. 22–23, does not share the public's infatuation with the picture, criticizing its lack of spatial depth, strange pursuit of naiveté, and mix of legend and reality.
Roger-Ballu. La Peinture au Salon de 1880. Paris, 1880, pp. 13–16, praises the transcendent quality of the picture, but criticizes the excessive representation of the surrounding nature and the lack of a sense of space or distance.
Maurice du Seigneur. L'Art et les artistes au Salon de 1880. Paris, 1880, pp. 6–8, claims that the odd mixture of styles in the picture can satisfy neither the realists nor the idealists, and criticizes especially the placement of the apparitions.
Frédéric de Syène. "Salon de 1880." L'Artiste 1 (May–June 1880), p. 344, praises the picture, comparing it to the works of Fra Angelico, Masaccio, and Filippo Lippi.
Émile Zola. "Le Naturalisme au Salon." Le Voltaire (June 18–22, 1880) [reprinted in F.W.J. Hemmings and Robert J. Niess, eds., "Émile Zola, Salons," Geneva, 1959, pp. 246–48], believes the inclusion of the visions spoils the realistic unity of the rest of the picture; notes the influence of Impressionism.
Edwin Austin Abbey. Letters. May 31 and June 3, 1880 [excerpts published in E. V. Lucas, "Edwin Austin Abbey, Royal Academician: The Record of His Life and Work," vol. 1, New York, 1921, p. 103], calls it "the very greatest picture ever painted by anybody since the fifteenth century" and to Reinhart, writes that it is "the greatest picture of this age".
"Expositions." L'Art 23 (1880), p. 48.
Ph[ilippe]. Burty. "Le Salon de 1880." L'Art 21 (1880), pp. 153, 178–80.
Jules Bastien-Lepage. Letter to M. de Montesquiou. January 16, 1880 [published in Ref. Aubrun 1985, pp. 14, 175], extends an invitation to view this picture.
Émile Michel. "Le Salon de 1880." Revue des deux mondes, 3ème pér., 39 (May 1, 1880), pp. 670–71.
Catalogue illustré du Salon. Ed. F.-G. Dumas. Exh. cat.Paris, 1880, pp. 4, 86, no. 177, pl. 130, reproduces a drawing after the painting.
James Parton. "The Trial of Jeanne Darc [sic]." Harper's New Monthly Magazine 63 (June 1881), ill. p. 93 (engraving).
Edwin Austin Abbey. Letter to Charles Parsons. 1881 [excerpt published in E. V. Lucas, "Edwin Austin Abbey, Royal Academician: The Record of His Life and Work," vol. 1, New York, 1921, pp. 103–4], describes seeing this picture at the MMA, calling it "by all odds the greatest modern picture I have ever seen".
Charles Carroll, ed. The Salon: A Collection of the Choicest Paintings Recently Executed by Distinguished European Artists. New York, 1881, pp. 8, 11–12, reproduces a drawing of this composition.
"Bastien Lepage." Scribner's Monthly 22 (June 1881), pp. 230, 232–35, ill. (detail), reproduces an outline drawing after the painting.
René Ménard. "Le Salon de 1881." L'Art 25 (1881), pp. 225–26.
"An Extraordinary Picture Collection." Art Amateur 5 (July 1881), p. 24.
Eugène Montrosier. Les Artistes modernes. Vol. 3, Les Peintres d'histoire, paysagistes, portraitistes et sculpteurs. Paris, 1882, p. 59.
W. C. Brownell. "Bastien-Lepage: Painter and Psychologist." Magazine of Art 6 (1883), pp. 269–70, admires the representation of Joan's face, but criticizes the visions for having "the look of an optical trick".
J.-K. Huysmans. "Le Salon officiel de 1880." L'Art moderne. Paris, 1883, pp. 132–34, 145, criticizes it harshly, objecting to the picture's "faux naturalisme".
Kenyon Cox. "Antoine Vollon: A Painters' Painter." Manhattan 2 (December 1883), p. 558, relates that during the installation of the Salon of 1880, this picture "was taken from one room to another, every one objecting to have it placed near his picture" and that it was finally hung next to a Vollon still life of a pumpkin; comments that "such was the breadth, the dignity, the nobleness of that pumpkin, that it was Bastien's picture that suffered by the neighborhood, not Vollon's".
Emmanuel Ducros. "Bastien-Lepage." L'Artiste 2 (December 1884), pp. 462–63, criticizes the depiction of the saints.
Olivier Merson. "Bastien Lepage." Le Monde illustré 54–55 (December 20, 1884), p. 390.
L. de Fourcaud. "Artistes Contemporains: Jules Bastien-Lepage." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 31 (February 1885), pp. 108, 115–16, illustrates a study for Joan, shown kneeling in prayer, on p. 107 (location unknown); quotes the artist's statement that he wished to create "une Jeanne d'Arc vraie, qui sera de notre coin de terre et non de mon atelier".
L. de Fourcaud. "Exposition des oeuvres de Bastien-Lepage." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 31 (March 1885), pp. 259–64, 267, notes that it is not included at the beginning of the exhibition at the Hôtel de Chimay [Exh. Paris 1885], but is expected soon by boat from New York; discusses the extensive preparatory work for the picture; claims that the artist told him he had originally intended to portray Joan kneeling at the foot of an altar, and that he had difficulty deciding how to depict the visions; praises the blend of mystical poetry and harsh realism embodied in the picture.
L. de Fourcaud. Bastien-Lepage: Sa vie et ses oeuvres, 1848–1884. Paris, , pp. 26–28, 30–31, unnumbered pl.
John Twachtman. Letter to J. Alden Weir. January 2, 1885 [published in Lisa N. Peters, "John Twachtman (1853–1902) and the American Scene in the Late Nineteenth Century: The Frontier within the Terrain of the Familiar," PhD dissertation, City University of New York, 1995, p. 542], remarks that in this picture Bastien-Lepage moved beyond realism to the "truly poetic".
Emmanuel Ducros. "L'Exposition de l'oeuvre de Bastien-Lepage." L'Artiste 1 (May 1885), pp. 391, 394, regrets the return of this picture to America.
A[rthur]. Hustin. "Bastien-Lepage." L'Art 38 (1885), pp. 14, 17.
G. Dargenty. "Bastien-Lepage." L'Art 38 (1885), p. 166.
"Jules Bastien-Lepage." Studio, n.s., no. 13 (January 31, 1885), pp. 146–50, provides J. Alden Weir's account of the making of this picture, from a lecture given by Weir at the Art Students' League on January 17, 1885; identifies the setting as the Bastien family home and notes that the artist's cousin served as the model for one of the saints; remarks that Joan's dress resembles typical peasant clothing of Damvillers, although Joan herself was "not painted from any one model"; mentions the probable influence of a biography of Joan written by [Henri Alexandre] Wallon, whose portrait was painted by Bastien-Lepage in 1876; describes the sale of this picture to Weir, acting on "commissions to buy pictures for Americans," when it was exhibited in Ghent.
Albert Wolff. La Capitale de l'art. 2nd. ed. Paris, 1886, p. 262.
Clarence Cook. Art and Artists of Our Time. New York, 1888, vol. 1, p. 77; vol. 2, p. 154.
William Howe Downes. "Boston Painters and Paintings." Atlantic Monthly 62 (October 1888), pp. 507–8, suggests that this picture began as the study of a peasant woman with her visions added as an "afterthought".
C. H. Stranahan. A History of French Painting from its Earliest to its Latest Practice. New York, 1888, p. 470, locates it in the Boston Museum [on long term loan by Erwin Davis to the MFA, Boston from 1882 until 1888].
Charles Bigot. Peintres français contemporains. Paris, 1888, pp. 167, 169–70.
Edwin Austin Abbey. Letter. 1889 [excerpt published in E. V. Lucas, "Edwin Austin Abbey, Royal Academician: The Record of His Life and Work," vol. 1, New York, 1921, p. 200].
Montezuma [Montague Marks]. "My Note Book." Art Amateur (May 1889), p. 122, notes that although "there was a bona-fide bid of $18,000" for this picture, it was bought in by Davis at his sale.
Benjamin Constant. "La Peinture du siècle." La Vie artistique (September 22, 1889), p. 246, calls it a masterpiece, stating "pour la première fois, Jeanne d'Arc avait trouvé son peintre!" ("for the first time, Joan of Arc has found her painter!"); states that the artist has found the true traits of "la grande Lorraine"; bemoans the fact that the Fine Arts Administration of France did not make its acquisition for the Louvre in proper time.
Prince Bojidar Karageorgevitch. "Personal Reminiscences of Jules Bastien-Lepage." Magazine of Art 13 (1890), pp. 86–88, asserts that the artist's idea for this picture arose from an incident in which his mother, returning fatigued from the fields, had a vision of thistles; states that Bastien-Lepage visited Joan's house in the village of Domrémy before beginning a sketch of the composition on the wall of his studio.
Jules Breton. Nos peintres du siècle. Paris, [189?], p. 219, calls it full of touching intentions.
Armand Dayot. Un siècle d'art: Notes sur la peinture française à l'exposition centennale des beaux-arts. Paris, 1890, pp. 80, 118.
"Some Former Picture Auctions." Art Amateur 24 (March 1891), p. 6.
George Clausen. "Jules Bastien-Lepage as Artist." Jules Bastien-Lepage and His Art: A Memoir. London, 1892, pp. 123, 125, compares it unfavorably to Courbet's "Stone Breakers" (destroyed), which hung near it in the Paris exhibition of 1889.
Walter Richard Sickert. "Modern Realism in Painting." Jules Bastien-Lepage and His Art: A Memoir. London, 1892, p. 142.
André Theuriet. Jules Bastien-Lepage and His Art: A Memoir. London, 1892, pp. 53–54, 57–58, 60, 99, ill. p. 55 (detail), recounts his failed attempt to convince Bastien-Lepage to omit the hallucinatory visions; claims that the painter abandoned a picture of Ophelia (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nancy) because its resemblance to Joan was too great; states erroneously that this picture was the only one of the artist's works not included in his 1885 exhibition at the Hôtel de Chimay [see Refs. Fourcaud 1885, Aubrun 1985].
Camille Pissarro. Letter to Octave Mirbeau. January 12, 1892 [published in Janine Bailly-Herzberg, ed., "Correspondance de Camille Pissarro," vol. 3, Paris, 1988, p. 186, no. 743], criticizes this picture as vulgar.
Julia Cartwright. Jules Bastien-Lepage. London, 1894, pp. 8, 17, 34, 49–54, 70, ill. on frontispiece (detail engraving by Walter L. Colls) and p. 51, notes the existence of seven or eight studies for this picture, and remarks that Bastien-Lepage first conceived of Joan kneeling in prayer; observes that when the painting was shown in the Paris 1889 exhibition "there was a general feeling of regret at the loss of a work which, by reason both of its subject and its merit, should have found a place in the Louvre"; reports Bastien-Lepage's disappointment over the negative critical reception of the picture.
"The Metropolitan Museum of Art—The French Painters." New York Times (May 22, 1895), p. 4, as "Joan d'Arc Listening to the Voices".
J. Alden Weir. "Jules Bastien-Lepage." Modern French Masters: A Series of Biographical and Critical Reviews by American Artists. Ed. John C. van Dyke. repr. (1st ed., 1889). New York, 1896, pp. 230–31, 234, ill. opp. p. 228 (detail engraving by Timothy Cole), identifies the apple tree in this picture as one in Bastien-Lepage's grandfather's garden, and the cottage in the background as the barn; recalls visiting the artist's home in Damvillers and meeting two local girls, ages six and seven, who served as the models for Joan's face.
Richard Muther. The History of Modern Painting. Vol. 3, London, 1896, pp. 24–26, ill. p. 19, suggests that the dreamy expression of the model was rendered "only by the aid of hypnotism".
"Metropolitan Museum of Art: New Purchases and Loans." New York Times (May 4, 1896), p. 4.
[Albert Marie Léon] Le Nordez. Jeanne d'Arc racontée par l'image d'après les sculpteurs, les graveurs, et les peintres. [Paris], 1898, ill. opp. p. 20 (engraving), as "Jeanne écoutant ses voix dans le jardin de son père".
William Sharp. "The Art Treasures of America (Concluded.)." Living Age, 7th ser., 1 (December 3, 1898), p. 606.
Arthur Hoeber. The Treasures of The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York. New York, 1899, pp. 76–78, ill., notes that this picture was considered radical for having been painted out of doors and depicting Joan as an unidealized peasant.
W. C. Brownell. French Art: Classic and Contemporary Painting and Sculpture. New York, 1901, pp. 82, 85–86, ill. between pp. 84 and 85 (detail), compares Bastien-Lepage to Courbet, citing this picture as an example in which "sentiment quite transcends realism".
Théodore Guédy. Manuel pratique du collectioneur de tableaux comprenant les principales ventes des XVIII, XIX siècles jusqu'à nos jours... Paris, , p. 12.
Masters in Art: Bastien-Lepage (1908), pp. 492–95, 498–500, 502, 506, pl. 1, states that after beginning the composition of Joan in the garden, the artist sewed on additional canvas to double its size in order to add the figures of the saints; includes excerpts from Clausen [see Ref. 1892] and Brownell [see Ref. 1901].
Frank Fowler. "The Field of Art: Modern Foreign Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum, Some Examples of the French School." Scribner's Magazine 44 (September 1908), p. 382.
Gustave Geffroy inAllgemeines Lexikon der bildenden Künstler. Ed. Ulrich Thieme and Felix Becker. Vol. 3, Leipzig, 1909, pp. 25–26.
D[aniel]. Cady Eaton. A Handbook of Modern French Painting. New York, 1909, p. 318, fig. 223.
Emile de Forceville. "Jeanne d'Arc dans l'art français du XIXe siècle." Études 119 (April–June 1909), pp. 213, 215–17, pl. V,1.
Léonce Bénédite. La Peinture au XIXième siècle d'après les chefs-d'oeuvre des maîtres et les meilleurs tableaux des principaux artistes. Paris, , p. 184.
Fr[ançois]. Crastre. Bastien Lepage. New York, , pp. 58, 61–63 [French ed., Paris, n.d., pp. 58–61], describes Joan as "a composite type of the women of the Lorraine race"; praises the representation of her face, but believes the visions should have been omitted.
L[ouis]. Dimier. Histoire de la peinture française au XIXe siècle (1793–1903). Paris, 1914, p. 233.
B[ryson]. B[urroughs]. "Nineteenth-Century French Painting." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 13 (August 1918), p. 180.
Maitland Armstrong. Day Before Yesterday: Reminiscences of a Varied Life. Ed. Margaret Armstrong. New York, 1920, p. 272, relates that while Bastien-Lepage was working on this picture, Gérôme advised him to add a distant view behind the cottage.
Duncan Phillips. "J. Alden Weir." Art Bulletin 2 (June 1920), p. 198, credits Weir with Davis's purchase of this picture and its subsequent gift to the MMA.
Edward Simmons. From Seven to Seventy: Memories of a Painter and a Yankee. New York, 1922, pp. 146–47, describes how the picture was painted in two separate pieces so that it could be easily carried out of doors, and was then sewn together; relates that Bastien-Lepage used several models for Joan's head; notes that the artist responded to criticism of the visions by stating that they were meant to represent "those born in the brain of Jeanne d'Arc, an uneducated girl of sixteen".
"The Story of a Picture: Joan of Arc, by Bastien-Lepage." Mentor 12 (October 1924), pp. 48–49, ill.
Virginie Demont-Breton. Les Maisons que j'ai connues. Vol. 3, Peintres et savants, l'audition colorée. Paris, 1929, pp. 55–58, recalls seeing this picture in the artist's studio with her mother and father, who praised the depiction of the saints; relates Bastien-Lepage's comment that he repainted Joan's left wrist thirty times.
Harry B. Wehle. "Seventy-Five Years Ago." Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin 4 (April 1946), p. 202.
Dorothy Weir Young. The Life and Letters of J. Alden Weir. Ed. Lawrence W. Chisolm. New Haven, 1960, pp. 145, 166, describes Weir's purchase of this picture for Erwin Davis for $4,000 in the summer of 1880.
Charles Sterling and Margaretta M. Salinger. French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 2, XIX Century. New York, 1966, pp. 207–10, ill., note that the setting is the artist's own garden in the village of Damvillers, in Lorraine, and the model for the figure was a local peasant girl; mention numerous studies, including two drawings which together form the whole composition (Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven).
Kermit S. Champa and Kate H. Champa. German Painting of the Nineteenth Century. Exh. cat., Yale University Art Gallery. New Haven, 1970, pp. 64–65, observe that Liebermann and Uhde were impressed by this "hybrid Impressionist picture" because it combined the high-keyed palette and loose brushwork of the Impressionists "with a species of subject matter which, for all its apparent religiousness, conveyed through the figure of the impoverished peasant girl, social-realist, if not actually socialist, content".
E[gbert]. Haverkamp-Begemann and Anne-Marie S. Logan. European Drawings and Watercolors in the Yale University Art Gallery, 1500-1900. New Haven, 1970, vol. 1, p. 44, under no. 78, discuss the preparatory drawing for this picture in the Yale University Art Gallery.
John Rewald. "Should Hoving Be De-accessioned?" Art in America 61 (January–February 1973), p. 28.
William Steven Feldman. "The Life and Work of Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884)." PhD diss., New York University, 1973, pp. 33–35, 37, 84, 98, 115–42, 158, 164, 225, 228, 230–31, 256, 258–59, 261, 265, 271, 306, fig. 41 (overall and details), notes that the Franco-Prussian War stimulated Bastien-Lepage's patriotic interest in Joan of Arc, whom he had considered a regional heroine since boyhood; cites the influence of Wallon's biography of Joan, reissued in 1876, on Bastien-Lepage's interest in combining historical reality with mystical experience; notes that the artist used his favorite model, Marie Robert, for the figure of Joan; states that Léon Bénouville's painting of the same subject (1859; Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims) served as the primary pictorial source for this picture and discusses Dr. Jean-Martin Charcot's studies in the field of hysteria as another literary source; calls the style of the picture a compromise between Academic and Impressionist techniques, with some reference to the Pre-Raphaelites, and mentions its influence on subsequent Academic pictures "focusing on the mystical experiences of visionary ecstasy, treated within the framework of historical exactitude".
Richard J. Boyle. American Impressionism. Boston, 1974, pp. 74–75, 137, 160, ill.
Denys Sutton inParis—New York: A Continuing Romance. Exh. cat., Wildenstein. New York, 1977, p. 27, pl. IX.
Kenneth McConkey. "The Bouguereau of the Naturalists: Bastien Lepage and British Art." Art History 1 (September 1978), p. 375, pl. 50.
Richard J. Boyle. John Twachtman. New York, 1979, pp. 15, 34, ill.
Gary A. Reynolds inWalter Gay: A Retrospective. Exh. cat., Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University. New York, 1980, p. 32, fig. 13.
Gabriel P. Weisberg. "Museum News: Realists Resurrected." Art Journal 40 (Fall/Winter 1980), p. 401, fig. 32 (reversed).
Gabriel P. Weisberg. The Realist Tradition: French Painting and Drawing 1830–1900. Exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, 1980, pp. 205–7.
K. McC[onkey] inThe Realist Tradition: French Painting and Drawing 1830–1900. Exh. cat., Cleveland Museum of Art. Cleveland, 1980, p. 211 n. 1, p. 268.
Kenneth McConkey. "'Pauvre Fauvette' or 'Petite Folle': A Study of Jules Bastien-Lepage's 'Pauvre Fauvette'." Arts Magazine 55 (January 1981), pp. 140, 142–43, fig. 2, calls it "Joan of Arc Listening to Voices".
Frances Weitzenhoffer. "First Manet Paintings to Enter an American Museum." Gazette des beaux-arts, 6th ser., 97 (March 1981), pp. 126–27, 129 n. 6, describes in detail Erwin Davis's acquisition, attempted sale, and eventual presentation to the Museum of this picture.
Kenneth McConkey. "Listening to the Voices: A Study of Some Aspects of Jules Bastien-Lepage's 'Joan of Arc Listening to the Voices'." Arts Magazine 56 (January 1982), pp. 154–60, fig. 1, cites early reviews of the picture and discusses its influence on younger French, British, and American artists.
Patricia G. Berman. "Unholy Ghosts in Jules Bastien-Lepage's 'Joan of Arc Listening to the Voices'." Marsyas 21 (1982), pp. 51–54, figs. 1, 2 (overall and detail), discusses the influence of Charcot's studies of hysteria on the figure of Joan and proposes that the visions of the saints were based on "spiritual" or "ghost" photography, concluding that Bastien-Lepage depicts Joan "as a victim of her delusional imagination".
Richard R. Brettell and Caroline B. Brettell. Painters and Peasants in the Nineteenth Century. Geneva, 1983, pp. 96–97, ill.
Richard Shiff. Cézanne and the End of Impressionism. Chicago, 1984, pp. 201–2, fig. 43.
Christian Debize and Philippe Pagnotta inJules Bastien-Lepage, Damvilliers 1848–Paris 1884. Exh. cat., Musée de la Princerie, Verdun. [Bar-le-Duc], 1984, pp. 68, 70.
William Steven Feldman inJules Bastien-Lepage, Damvilliers 1848–Paris 1884. Exh. cat., Musée de la Princerie, Verdun. [Bar-le-Duc], 1984, pp. 25–26, 28, 32 nn. 1, 8, pp. 113–14, 119, 125, ill. on frontispiece (color) and p. 125.
John Pope-Hennessy. "Roger Fry and The Metropolitan Museum of Art." Oxford, China, and Italy: Writings in Honour of Sir Harold Acton on his Eightieth Birthday. Ed. Edward Chaney and Neil Ritchie. London, 1984, p. 231.
Marie-Madeleine Aubrun. Jules Bastien-Lepage, 1848-1884: Catalogue raisonné de l'oeuvre. [Paris], 1985, pp. 14–15, 23, 29, 172–80, no. 249, ill. pp. 57 (color) and 173, identifies the model for Joan, Marie-Adèle Robert, as Bastien-Lepage's cousin; lists numerous early references for this picture.
Charles F. Stuckey inThe Art of Paul Gauguin. Exh. cat., National Gallery of Art. Washington, 1988, p. 246, suggests a comparison with Gauguin's "Ia Orana Maria" (MMA 51.112.2).
Salme Sarajas-Korte. "Jules Bastien-Lepage—'ylivertainen vaikuttaja'." Taidehistoriallisia Tutkimuksia 11 (1988), pp. 115, 117–18, fig. 3.
Antoinette Ehrard. "L''Impossible' Salon de 1880." La Critique d'Art en France 1850–1900. Ed. Jean-Paul Bouillon. Saint-Etienne, 1989, pp. 152–53, reviews the criticism of the picture from the Salon of 1880.
Kenneth McConkey inLandschaft im Licht: Impressionistische Malerei in Europa und Nordamerika, 1860-1910. Ed. Götz Czymmek. Exh. cat., Wallraf-Richartz-Museum. Cologne, 1990, p. 126, ill.
Michael F. Zimmermann. Seurat and the Art Theory of His Time. Antwerp, 1991, p. 78.
Gabriel P. Weisberg. Beyond Impressionism: The Naturalist Impulse. New York, 1992, pp. 19, 63, 116, 144, 154, 157, pl. 12, as "Joan of Arc Listening to the Voices"; discusses it in relation to the wide-ranging debates about naturalism of the time; states that Bastien-Lepage turned to portraiture in the wake of his disappointment in the picture's reception; notes its influence on George Clausen's "The Girl at the Gate" (1889, Tate Britain, London), John Lavery's "Under the Cherry Tree" (1884, Ulster Museum, Belfast), and Charles Sprague Pearce's "Sainte-Geneviève" (ca. 1887, Collection Peter Rudolph, Philadelphia).
Rodolphe Rapetti inLost Paradise: Symbolist Europe. Exh. cat., Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Montreal, 1995, p. 229.
La Belle Époque: Paintings, Drawings and Sculpture. Sotheby's, New York. May 24, 1995, unpaginated, under no. 274.
Nathalie Monteyne inTranches de vie: Le naturalisme en Europe, 1875–1915. Exh. cat., Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts d'Anvers. Ghent, 1996, pp. 63–64, 66.
Dorine Cardyn-Oomen inTranches de vie: Le naturalisme en Europe, 1875–1915. Exh. cat., Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts d'Anvers. Ghent, 1996, p. 254.
Leen de Jong inTranches de vie: Le naturalisme en Europe, 1875–1915. Exh. cat., Musée Royal des Beaux-Arts d'Anvers. Ghent, 1996, pp. 86, 206, mentions the influence of this picture on the paintings of Emile Claus and Frank O'Meara.
Karen Sullivan. "'I do not name to you the voice of St. Michael': The Identification of Joan of Arc's Voices." Fresh Verdicts on Joan of Arc. Ed. Bonnie Wheeler and Charles T. Wood. New York, 1996, pp. 85–86, 105 n. 1.
Caroline Igra. "Measuring the Temper of Her Time: Joan of Arc in the 1870s and 1880s." Konsthistorisk Tidskrift 68 (1999), pp. 122–23, fig. 7, discusses the influence on this picture of Bénouville's "Joan of Arc" (Musée des Beaux-Arts, Reims), which was illustrated as the frontispiece in the 1876 edition of Wallon's biography of Joan [see Ref. Feldman 1973].
Tomaz Brejc. "Realism and Allegory: 'Summer (Poletje)' by Ivana Kobilca." Essays on European Art: A Tribute to Ksenija Rozman. Ed. Barbara Jaki. Ljubljana, 1999, p. 272, fig. 6 (color).
Madeleine Fidell-Beaufort. "The American Art Trade and French Painting at the End of the 19th century." Van Gogh Museum Journal (2000), p. 107 n. 30, erroneously states that this picture was sold in 1889 for $6,700 [see Ref. Weitzenhoffer 1981].
Barbara Paul. "Stimmen für Frankreich: Jules Bastien-Lepages Gemälde 'Jeanne d'Arc écoutant les voix' von 1879." Jenseits der Grenzen: Französische und deutsche Kunst vom Ancien Régime bis zur Gegenwart. Thomas W. Gaehtgens zum 60.Geburtstag. Band II: Kunst der Nationen. Ed. Uwe Fleckner et al. Cologne, 2000, pp. 245–61, fig. 1.
William H. Gerdts. American Impressionism. 2nd ed. New York, 2001, pp. 27, 32, 105, pl. 15, notes the negative view of Impressionism that was associated with the works exhibited by the Society of American Artists, New York in 1881, including this picture.
Marie-Claude Coudert inJeanne d'Arc: Les tableaux de l'Histoire, 1820–1920. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux-Arts, Rouen. Paris, 2003, pp. 130–32, 136, 144, 163, no. 68, ill. (color), compares the figure of Joan to photographs from Charcot's study of hysteria.
Marek Zgorniak inJeanne d'Arc: Les tableaux de l'Histoire, 1820–1920. Exh. cat., Musée des Beaux Arts, Rouen. Paris, 2003, pp. 70, 74, 76.
Joachim Pissarro. Pioneering Modern Painting: Cézanne & Pissarro 1865–1885. Exh. cat., Museum of Modern Art. New York, 2005, p. 32, fig. 21 (color).
Victorian & Edwardian Art. Sotheby's, London. March 10, 2005, p. 60, under no. 249, compares it to "Gossip," 1885, by John William Waterhouse.
The Irish Sale. Sotheby's, London. May 13, 2005, p. 50, under no. 36, compares it to "Convalescence (in the Apple Orchard)," 1885, by Sir John Lavery.
Jacques Thuillier. Jules Bastien-Lepage. Metz, 2005, pp. 84, 86, 88, 100, 106, 142, ill. pp. 5, 99, 100–103 (color, overall and details).
Pierre Rosenberg. Only in America: One Hundred Paintings in American Museums Unmatched in European Collections. Milan, 2006, p. 21, fig. 29 (color).
Petra ten-Doesschate Chu. Nineteenth-Century European Art. 2nd ed. Upper Saddle River, N.J., 2006, pp. 385–86, 447, 461, fig. 16-17 (color).
Nora M. Heimann in Nora M. Heimann and Laura Coyle. Joan of Arc: Her Image in France and America. Exh. cat., Corcoran Gallery of Art. Washington, 2006, pp. 48–49, fig. 13 (color).
Laura Coyle in Nora M. Heimann and Laura Coyle. Joan of Arc: Her Image in France and America. Exh. cat., Corcoran Gallery of Art. Washington, 2006, p. 59, remarks that the French controversy over the depiction of Joan's voices was not an issue when this picture was seen in the United States, where "the question of whether or not Joan was truly guided by God barely impinged on the dominant, secular image of Joan of Arc as a patriot".
Dominique Lobstein inJules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884). Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay. Paris, 2007, pp. 32–34, 37, 39, 49 nn. 158, 162, 169, 178, p. 122, fig. 6 (color).
Jérôme Montchal inJules Bastien-Lepage (1848–1884). Exh. cat., Musée d'Orsay. Paris, 2007, pp. 94, 142, mentions this picture in relation to Bastien-Lepage's "Job" and "La Mort d'Ophélie" (both Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nancy).
Kathryn Calley Galitz inThe Masterpieces of French Painting from The Metropolitan Museum of Art: 1800–1920. Exh. cat., Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. New York, 2007, pp. 141, 180, no. 103, ill. (color and black and white).
Kathryn Calley Galitz inMasterpieces of European Painting, 1800–1920, in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. New York, 2007, pp. 159, 212, no. 148, ill. (color and black and white).
Elayne Oliphant in Martha Ward and Anne Leonard. Looking and Listening in Nineteenth-Century France. Exh. cat., Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago. Chicago, 2007, pp. 43–49, colorpl. 2, fig. 39, notes that it is the presence of the saints that identifies the central figure as Joan of Arc and that the ahistorical representation of her in contemporary Damvillers rather than Domrémy universalized her experience; cites a possible connection between the date of the painting and the death the same year of Bernadette Soubirous, a girl who experienced religious apparitions in Lourdes; focuses on Joan's absorptive state as a unique portrayal in the painter's oeuvre, unlike the "emptied" consciousness depicted in, for example, "Hay Harvest" (1877, Musée d'Orsay, Paris); discounts previous interpretations of Bastien's depiction of Joan as related to Charcot's hysterics, stating that the representation of the saints disallows it and places the image more squarely within the tradition of representations of figures receiving the word of God and that their presence is for the benefit of viewers, who cannot experience Joan's inner vision.
Frances Fowle. Impressionism and Scotland. Exh. cat., National Gallery Complex. Edinburgh, 2008, pp. 27, 29, mentions this picture's influence on John Lavery's "Under the Cherry Tree" (1884; Ulster Museum, Belfast) and Edward Arthur Walton's "A Daydream" (1885; National Gallery of Scotland, Edinburgh).
Jennifer A. Thompson inInventing Impressionism: Paul Durand-Ruel and the Modern Art Market. Ed. Sylvie Patry. Exh. cat., Musée du Luxembourg, Paris. London, 2015, p. 139 [French ed., "Paul Durand-Ruel: le Pari de l'Impressionnisme," Paris, 2014, p. 107].
Marnin Young. Realism in the Age of Impressionism: Painting and the Politics of Time. New Haven, 2015, pp. 99, 234 nn. 42, 43, fig. 63 (color), discusses the criticism of the painting from the Salon of 1880 as a means to a definition of naturalism about 1880.
Kathryn Calley Galitz. The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Masterpiece Paintings. New York, 2016, p. 444, no. 383, ill. pp. 388, 444 (color).
An engraving of this picture was published in Parton 1881. There are two engravings showing details of Joan: one by Walter L. Colls (see Cartwright 1894) and one by Timothy Cole (see Weir 1896). Aubrun (1985) catalogues fourteen drawings as studies for this work.
The Belgian artist James Ensor (1860–1949) copied the drawing after this painting published in Dumas 1880. Ensor’s copy is now in the Koninklijk Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Antwerp (2711/155b).