Acrylic Painting Secrets: Tips & Techniques To Make Acrylic by Bob Davies

By Bob Davies

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The sound of a bell, the call of the haymakers’ boss, will soon enough pull her back from mute contemplation. She will take up her hard work, she will return to the inevitabilities of real life. 56 This extended description brings to the surface almost every significant element in the painting. The absorption of the figure, her rest from “long hours of work,” even the temporal structuring of her day: these constitute the vital components of the painting, ones no other critic at the time could quite tie together, but which structured the artistic and ideological reception of the painting in 1878.

With clenched fists a reaper lies sleeping On a pile of grass that serves as his bed. 38 This poem quickly emerged as a key to the painting, and it played a role in structuring the work’s public reception. 39 Bastien-Lepage’s portrait of the writer hung nearby, so this assumption was hardly surprising, but in fact this second version of “Les Foins” did not appear until 1878, well after the painting had been completed. While Theuriet’s first poem almost certainly gave the painting its name, the second was inspired by the painting, not the other way around.

She is quite tanned by the sun, she is ugly; her head is stocky and coarse; this is the relentlessly faithful reproduction of a young countrywoman who has never looked at herself in the mirror of the ideal and who could not fix its fugitive reflection on her common features; but in this ugliness is a soul. This haymaker so true in bearing which speaks of the despondently long hours of work and the serenity FIGURE 14 Jules Bastien-Lepage, Reapers at Damvillers, Meuse (Faucheurs, Damvillers, Meuse), 1878.

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