Jules Bastien-Lepage, 1880

Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848-1884) was a French painter, best known in America for his Joan of Arc, 1879 (The Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY). He was born in Damvillers (Meuse), France, and studied at the …cole des Beaux-Arts. In 1868 he entered the atelier of Alexandre Cabanel. He was a genre and portrait painter, whose career was shortened by his untimely death from cancer. He was a student friend of Saint-Gaudens. In exchange for the relief, Bastien-Lepage painted a full-length portrait sketch of Saint-Gaudens, which was destroyed in the Cornish studio fire of 1904.

The relief is one of the first to be exhibited by Saint-Gaudens and the first to be sold to a museum (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston). Numerous variants of the relief exist, with modifications to the inscription and composition. Casts were made throughout Saint-Gaudensí lifetime, and the editions were continued after his death by his widow. This and the Robert Louis Stevenson reliefs were the most popular of all of Saint-Gaudensí production.


Bronze, 14 1/2 x 10 3/8 inches
(36.83 x 26.35 cm.), collection of SGNHS