"Joan of Arc," was painted by the French realist artist Jules Bastien-Lepage in 1879. "After the province of Lorraine was lost to Germany following the Franco-Prussian War in 1821, The Frenchmen saw in Joan of Arc a new and powerful symbol. In 1875, Bastien-Lepage, a native of Lorraine began to make studies for a picture of her. In the present painting, exhibited in the Salon of 1880, Joan is shown receiving her revelation in her parents garden. Behind her are Saints Michael, Margaret, and Catherine. (Caption next to painting in The Metropolitan)"
Jules Bastien-Lepage creates a realistic atmosphere, including a supernatural, religious-like presence within his painting. Oil on canvas was used to create the realistic quality of the work. By closely examining the artist's technique, it is clear that he uses delicate brush strokes in a true to life manner. The colors, and use of light seem to be painted in a layered fashion to give the landscape a sense of depth. The background of the painting is a garden which include foliage and brush that surrounds the primary focus of the painting, Joan of Arc. The artist put a great effort into the details of the scene. Bastien-Lepage uses a distinct realistic quality in his painting which is visible in each individual leaf and branch. Various hues of earth tones, green and brown being the most evident, are blended together in the garden scene.
In the foreground of the painting is Joan of Arc. She is painted with a seemingly thicker paint technique. This makes her a more easily visible aspect in the painting, and catches the onlookers eye. Joan is dressed in a long brown skirt and blue-gray shirt with white underneath which is the typical clothing style of the 19th century. The clothing is painted to show its wear and tear. Her features and her figure are quite realistic. She seems to have a calm, but troubled expression on her face, as though she is deep in thought. Overall she is painted in a very...
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