Joan of Arc

Artist: Jules Bastien-Lepage (French, Damvillers 1848–1884 Paris)

Date: 1879

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 100 x 110 in. (254 x 279.4 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Gift of Erwin Davis, 1889

Accession Number: 89.21.1


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.