Painters Paintings Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848 – 1884): Pas Mèche (Nothing Doing), 1882, Oil on canv…
Painters Work Jules Bastien-Lepage (1848 – 1884): Pas Mèche (Nothing Doing), 1882, Oil on canvas, 132. x 89.5 cm, Nationwide Galleries of Scotland, Edinburgh
Bastien-Lepage’s work of rural folks in an earthy tonal type impressed many late nineteenth-century British painters, particularly the so-called Glasgow Boys. The perceived sentimental character of his work contributed to their reputation. The bulk have been based mostly in and round Damvillers, within the Meuse district of north-eastern France, the place Bastien-Lepage spent most of his brief life.
Bastien-Lepage’s ‘Pas Mèche’ depicts a younger boy wanting straight out of the portray clad in raggedy garments and enormous unlaced boots. His relaxed air suits the title which is an abbreviation of the French slang: ‘Il n’y a pas meche’ that means ‘There’s nothing doing’. The whip he holds and the horn slung on his again recommend that he was a barge boy who would have managed the horses pulling the barge and alerted the lockmasters of its imminent arrival. The portray was made for the London artwork sellers Arthur Tooth and Sons and was included within the artist’s memorial exhibition held in Paris in 1885. (Nationwide Galleries of Scotland)