Art/ Collection/ Art Object

The Grape Harvest

Artist:
Léon-Augustin Lhermitte (French, Mont Saint-Père 1844–1925 Paris)
Date:
1884
Medium:
Oil on canvas
Dimensions:
99 x 82 5/8 in. (251.5 x 209.9 cm)
Classification:
Paintings
Credit Line:
Gift of William Schaus, 1887
Accession Number:
87.22.2
On view at The Met Fifth Avenue in Gallery 800
"[The figures] have the healthy, strong beauty of the land on which they live; warm blood runs through their veins and the tingle of life itself passes over their skin, tanned by the sun," declared one critic when Lhermitte exhibited this picture at the 1884 Salon. The artist’s fourth large-scale, heroicizing scene of rustic laborers in as many years, it cemented his reputation as a painter of modern rural life. For admirers such as Van Gogh, Lhermitte’s masterful and sympathetic presentation of the working peasants made him a "genius on a par with that of Millet."
Inscription: Signed and dated (lower left): L.Lhermitte / 1884
William Schaus, New York (1884–87)
Paris. Salon. May 1–June 1884, no. 1538 (as "Les vendanges," lent by M. W. Schaus).

Birmingham. Alabama State Fair. October 4–9, 1954, no catalogue.

New York. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. "Impressionism: A Centenary Exhibition," December 12, 1974–February 10, 1975, not in catalogue.

"Salon de 1884." Le Gaulois-Salon: Supplément du Gaulois (April 30, 1884) [p. 2].

Paul Mantz. "Le Salon. IV." Le Temps (May 25, 1884), p. 1.

Georges Lafenestre. Le Livre d'or du Salon de peinture et de sculpture. Paris, 1884, p. 46.

L. de Fourcaud. "Le Salon de 1884 (2e article)." Gazette des beaux-arts, 2nd ser., 29 (June 1, 1884), pp. 469–70, comments that "on ne rêve pas un plus beau paysage, plus riche de tons et plus vrai".

Joséphin Péladan. "Salon de 1884. Peinture." L'Artiste 1 (June 1884), p. 444.

André Michel. "Le Salon de 1884. III." L'Art 36 (1884), p. 212.

Montezuma [Montague Marks]. "My Note Book." Art Amateur 11 (July 1884), p. 29.

E. V. "The Paris Salon." Art Amateur 11 (July 1884), p. 37, as "Vintage".

J. Noulens. "Le Salon: Histoire, Genre. IV." La Presse (May 22, 1885) [p. 2].

Mrs. Schuyler van Rensselaer. "The Metropolitan Museum. The Society of American Artists [part 1]." Independent 39 (May 12, 1887), p. 6, as "Vintage".

"The Fine Arts: Further Gifts to the Metropolitan Museum." Critic (May 7, 1887), p. 232, as "The Vintage"; calls it a "thoroughly modern work" and notes that it has been on view at the Schaus gallery.

Montezuma [Montague Marks]. "My Note Book." Art Amateur 17 (June 1887), p. 3.

R. H. "Some Living French Painters." Illustrated London News 92 (April 28, 1888), p. 464, as "Grape-Harvest".

William Sharp. "The Art Treasures of America (Concluded.)." Living Age, 7th ser., 1 (December 3, 1898), p. 606, as "The Vintage".

Arthur Hoeber. The Treasures of The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York. New York, 1899, p. 86, remarks that its "color, too, is full of charm, and the execution is faultless".

W. C. Brownell. French Art: Classic and Contemporary Painting and Sculpture. New York, 1901, p. 97, ill. opp. p. 100.

Henry Marcel. La Peinture française au XIXe siècle. Paris, 1905, p. 308.

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, p. 205, ill., note that it is also called "Gathering in the Grapes"; state that William Schaus, the art dealer, purchased it at the Salon of 1884.

Mary Michele Hamel. Léon Lhermitte. Exh. cat., Paine Art Center & Arboretum. Oshkosh, 1974, pp. 17, 28, 37, pl. 19, asserts that in this picture and "Le Vin" (1885; Musée des beaux-arts, Reims; Le Pelley Fonteny 1991, no. 40) Lhermitte alludes to the figure of Venus in peasant dress; lists a drawing, two charcoals, and one pastel that are related to our painting [see Ref. Le Pelley Fonteny 1991].

Kitty Schreurs. Eine Auswahl bedeutender Ölgemälde, Aquarelle und Zeichnungen französischer Meister des 19.Jahrhunderts aus unserer Kollektion 1981/1982. Exh. cat., Galerie an der Königsallee, Düsseldorf. [1981], unpaginated, under no. 18, reproduces the charcoal study for this painting (1883; Collection Maurice Stenberg, Chicago; Le Pelley Fonteney 1991, no. 414).

Monique Le Pelley Fonteny. Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844–1925). Paris, 1991, pp. 36, 101–2, 398, 466, 504, 513, no. 39, ill., calls it "Les Vendanges"; notes that when Schaus bought this painting at the Salon of 1884, he was the first American dealer to acquire a work by Lhermitte; mentions the influence of Bastien-Lepage; catalogues three studies for this picture (nos. 412, 413, 414).



There is a charcoal study for this painting (1883; Maurice Sternberg collection, Chicago; Le Pelley Fonteny 1991, no. 414) and two drawings for the landscape (both 1884; private collection, Paris; Le Pelley Fonteny 1991, nos. 412, 413). Another Lhermitte painting on the grape harvest theme was exhibited at the Salon of 1876 (Sotheby's, New York, May 7, 1998, no. 156; Le Pelley Fonteny 1991, no. 127).
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