Private Collection, VA
Georges Laugée was a painter known for portrait and peasant figures in landscape painting. He was influenced by William Bouguereau and Jules Breton, gracing the figures in his compositions with a sense of nobility. He studied under Isadore Pils and Henri Lehmann and exhibited in the Salon from 1877. He often painted the Gleaners working hard in the fields and these subjects are similar in style to Barbizon artists like Leon L’hermitte and Jean-Francois Millet. Georges Laugée obtained a third class medal in 1881, a bronze medal at the 1889 Exposition Universelle, and a silver medal at the 1900 Exposition Universelle. He served as a member of the committee and the jury for the Salon as well. He is exhibited at various French museums including Nantes and Saintes.
Our painting depicts a single peasant woman in the foreground and a small group in the background, gleaning a field of stray stalks of wheat after the harvest. Gleaning describes the activity of collecting leftover wheat. The slanting sun accentuates the volume of wheat and lends our primary figure a sculptural look. The Gleaners is a perfect example of profound respect for the timeless dignity of human labor.