Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Art and Beauty Tuesday--Jules Bastien-Lepage

Today's Art and Beauty Tuesday features a French painter, born in 1848, Jules Bastien-Lepage.  This painting, Le Mendiant translates as The Beggar and was painted in 1881.

In it, we see the old man, although, perhaps he is not as old as he looks, leaving the young girl in his care at home while he goes to beg for food.  His clothes are drab and ill-fitting.  His shoes look like they have been  repaired with cloth wrapped around them, and look too big for his feet.

The paint around the door is peeling and the potted plant to the left, is alive, although it has probably seen better days.  Perhaps it is a metaphor for the man and his family.

The little girl looks wistfully at him as if she is wishing he did not have to go beg for their supper.

4 comments:

TACParent said...

The first thing I noticed was the man's oversized shoes. After reading your post my first thought was that the little girl was still wearing a dress (as in, "dressed-up"), despite their circumstances. Upon closer examination I realized that her dress is dirty (or is that just shadows). This goes along perfectly with your post about feeding the poor.

Dymphna said...

Good observation about the dress being dirty. I hadn't really noticed that myself.

newguy40 said...

Those are wooden shoes.
Pretty common for the more well to do poor to have wooden shoes rather than bare feet. I have seen similar paintings and drawings from the French Revolution that show wooden shoe wearers with straw stuffed in for comfort.

Dymphna said...

I was wondering if they might be wooden shoes. Thanks!

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