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3 years ago with 9 notes

       Jean d’Arc by Jules Bastien Lepage

After the Franco-Prussian war and the loss of Alsace and Lorraine to Germany in the early 1870s, Joan of Arc gained new, fresh significance to the French people.  At the time she was not an uncommon subject for artists.  In 1880 Jules Bastien Lepage, a native of Lorraine, exhibited this painting of “Joan of Arc hearing voices” to great acclaim.  The artist and art critic Marie Bashkirtseff, famously severely critical and almost never effusive or positive even about works she liked, said:

Nothing in painting has ever moved me like the Jeanne d’Arc of Bastien-Lepage… there is something indescribably mysterious and marvelous about it. There you have a sentiment which the artist has thoroughly understood, the perfect and intense expression of a great inspiration, -something great and human, inspired and divine at the same moment, in fact what it actually was, and what no one before him had ever understood. Only think of all the Jeanne d’Arcs that have been painted before! Good Heavens! why they are as common as Ophelias and Gretchens! But in this incomparable artist you find what is only to be found in the sacred art of Italy, in the days when men believed in what they painted.”

  1. petalpine reblogged this from maiathebee
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    I saw this at the Met last time I was there, in March, and it was the only time I felt “moved” by a piece of art instead...
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