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All the keenness, intelligence and austerity of this prominent personage, known by the name of Father of the Constitution, are eloquently transferred to this page, with a sobriety of means that still further emphasizes its vigour. HIS YOUTH Jules Bastien-Lepage was born at Damvillers, in the department of the Meuse, on the first of November, 1848. His parents were of the well-to-do farming class, occupied from one year's end to the other with the work of the fields. Consequently, all the early boyhood of the artist was passed in daily contact with the soil of Lorraine and with the sons of that soil.
Juliette Drouet, another beautiful and noble specimen of portraiture. And how marvellously Bastien-Lepage could detect the hidden soul lurking in the inmost recesses of his models and reveal it behind the transparent screen of their eyes! If Bastien-Lepage had not achieved eternal glory as an interpreter of rural life, he would still have remained celebrated as a portrait painter. But to Bastien-Lepage portrait painting was only a side issue, a form of relaxation between two landscapes; his predilection, his one object in life, so to speak, was to return constantly to his peasants, his scenes of toil, his fields of Lorraine.
But this goldsmith's work, far from impairing the effect of the whole, adds a certain fascination to it. And he expended upon the study of the face the same degree of devotion that he gave to the rendering of a garment. His models relive with an intensity of life such as could be expressed only by an artist who has made a life-long study of nature in her minutest manifestations. To name over his portraits would be to mention an equal number of masterpieces. The catalogue would be too long, for Bastien-Lepage was an indefatigable workman.