Léon-Augustin L'Hermitte purportedly began working in pastels in 1885, the year before his first exhibition at the Société des Pastellistes Français. There at the Georges Petit Gallery in Paris he exhibited twelve pastels which portrayed daily peasant life around his birthplace of Mont-Saint- Père. This exhibition would establish L'Hermitte as one of the foremost proponents of works executed in pastel. In fact he helped to found the pastellistes and would go on to mentor younger artists in this medium. Van Gogh once referred to Lhermitte as "Millet the Second" and wrote of him in the following passage:
"…if every month "Le Monde Illustré" published one of his compositions…it would be a great pleasure for me to be able to follow it. It is certain that for years I have not seen anything as beautiful as this scene by Lhermitte…I am too preoccupied by Lhermitte this evening to be able to talk of other things."
L'Hermitte's use of pastels helped to usher in and reinforce the growing acceptance of the use of pastels in art in France.
The Fine Art Society, London
Prince Ben Abdul Aziz al Sud, Saudi Arabia
Maurice Ishak (gifted from the above)
Frost & Reed, London
Mr. and Mrs. Michael Jackson, CA
Private Collection, Los Angeles