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Breton Peasant Woman Holding a Taper

Jules Breton

European Art

In this image of a woman holding a rosary and candle, Jules Breton conveyed the devotion associated with the people of Brittany, a conservative, religious region of northeastern France. The work is a study for a figure in one of his many paintings of pardons, Brittany’s annual penitential rites in which peasants in traditional dress take part in a procession. Many urban male artists in the nineteenth century perceived Brittany—especially its women, whom they nearly always depicted wearing their distinctive white headdresses—as “primitive,” pious avatars of a culture unspoiled by modern life.
MEDIUM Oil on canvas
  • Place Made: France
  • DATES ca. 1869
    DIMENSIONS 12 x 9 in. (30.5 x 22.9 cm) Frame: 24 x 20 3/4 x 4 1/4 in.  (show scale)
    SIGNATURE Signed lower left: "J. Breton"
    COLLECTIONS European Art
    CREDIT LINE Bequest of William H. Herriman
    PROVENANCE Prior to 1918, provenance not yet documented; by July 26, 1918, acquired by William Henry Herriman of Brooklyn, NY and Rome, Italy; May 18, 1921, bequeathed by William Henry Herriman to the Brooklyn Museum.
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    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is not on view
    CAPTION Jules Breton (Courrieres, France 1827 – 1806, Paris, France). Breton Peasant Woman Holding a Taper, ca. 1869. Oil on canvas, 12 x 9 in. (30.5 x 22.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Bequest of William H. Herriman, 21.102 (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 21.102_PS9.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, 21.102_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2015
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    RIGHTS STATEMENT No known copyright restrictions
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