Léon Augustin Lhermitte

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Léon Augustin Lhermitte
Four Men Drinking in a Tavern (Paysans Buvant)
ca. 1878
Charcoal on cream paper.
10 1/8 x 14 7/8 inches (257 x 378 mm)
Gift of John M. Thayer.

Lhermitte was inspired by the work of Jean François Millet and devoted his career to genre scenes in the realist and naturalist mode. Humble subjects, modest interiors, and quotidian activities formed the subjects of his chalk drawings, several of which depict couples and men drinking. This scene of men seated in a tavern smoking and drinking is typical of the artist's drawings from the 1870s. It is an example of the kinds of figures and interest in lighting that elicited Van Gogh's admiration.
In the 1879 Salon, Lhermitte showed one painting and two drawings, one of the latter was titled “Le Cabaret,” although it cannot be confirmed if the reference is to the present sheet.


Inscribed in black chalk at upper left, partially cropped, "ermitte".

Paul Prouté, Paris; sale, New York, Christie's, 25 February 1988, lot 41; sale, New York, Christie's, 23 February 1989, lot 325; John M. Thayer (1944-2004), Wilmington, DE.

Le Pelley Fonteny, Monique., and Thuillier, Jacques. Léon Augustin Lhermitte (1844-1925) : Catalogue Raisonné / Monique Le Pelley Fonteny ; Préface De Jacques Thuillier. 1991, Dessins non localisés, no. 684.