The Harvester

Julien Dupréca. 1880 - 1881

Huntington Museum of Art

Huntington Museum of Art
Huntington, United States

The Harvester is typical of Dupre's work. It exhibits the skill he had as a draftsman, a skill encouraged by his rigorous training. Beyond this it exhibits influences from the Barbizon school and from the realist tradition. The reliance on the countryside as a subject and, in particular, the handling of light in this and other works by Dupre were both elements in painting that had become prominent as a result of the Barbizon painters. Another important influence for Dupre was the work of an earlier generation of realist painters, especially Jules Breton. Young peasant girls at work in the countryside, often shown with livestock, were a favorite subject of Dupre's. These women were not depicted in the drudgery that surely would have dominated the lives of most European peasants, but rather they were portrayed as participants in a noble cause. The young girl seen here is clearly part of this imagery; she is an idealized farm worker. This ennobling of agrarian life was a direct result of the Revolution of 1848 in France, a revolution that celebrated in imagery the virtue and nobility of those who toiled. Both as a manifestation of an ideal, and as an example of Dupre's work, The Harvester is a fine representative piece.

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  • Title: The Harvester
  • Creator: Julien Dupré
  • Date: ca. 1880 - 1881
  • Physical Dimensions: w21.25 x h27.5 in.
  • Credit Line: Gift of Herbert Fitzpatrick
  • Type: painting
  • Medium: oil on canvas