Jules Breton (1827 – 1906)

Jules Breton (1827 – 1906), “The Song Of The Lark” (1884), Oil on Canvas, 110 x 85 cm, The Art Institute of Chicago.

Jules Breton, born on the 1st of May, 1827, was a 19th-century French Romantic-Realist painter. His paintings are influenced by the French countryside and rural peasant life. Breton transmits the hardship of rural existence into romantic and idyllic beauty. Here is his painting “The Song Of The Lark”, from 1884. The poor farmer girl has a day of hard work ahead, but she is catching the beauty of the moment of sunrise and the pleasing melodic song of that tiny lark high up in the sky. It’s a moment of power of nature, which might give the girl the strength to go through the day ahead. When painted, the nostalgic of the hard working peasant class appealed to the salons of the Paris elite. But everyone, rich and poor, feels the warmth of the sun at dawn and enjoys the power of the song of a lark.