Léon Augustin L’Hermitte
Flood Time Amberley (The Lake), c. 1880
oil on canvas
50.9 x 76.2 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of the Honourable James McDiarmid
Often referred to as the “second Millet” by Vincent Van Gogh and other admirers, Léon Augustin L’Hermitte was an accomplished painter, draftsman, and printmaker whose images of peasant subjects and rural landscapes brought him international acclaim. This painting was completed in the 1880s when L’Hermitte travelled to Amberley, an isolated region in Sussex, England. This pastoral area was celebrated by a number of French (and British) realist painters who saw it as a charming place unspoiled by modern developments and industrialization. The flooded lake view features the trees and fields of Sussex silhouetted against the warm golden glow of a setting sun. The evening light illuminates the distant hills and the water below, blending the fields, sky, and water into one harmonious vision of nature.