Friday, June 28, 2024

La Bouchée de Pain

La Bouchée de pain (The Bite of Bread) is a painting by Fernand Pelez on commission from the Ministry of Fine Arts in 1881 on the theme of “Charity”.

The implementation of this large composition did not begin until after 1900 and was completed in 1908. Ten preparatory sketches are kept at the Petit Palais. They are painted in shades of brown in the style of ink washes. The characters are represented in groups or individually, life size.

Urban poverty primarily affects low-skilled workers and sick people who are left jobless and destitute by economic crises. Faced with the delay in social reforms, Catholic organizations still occupied a predominant place in charitable action at the end of the 19th century. Opened on rue Cujas, the work of the Bouchée de pain was named in reference to the last meal of Jesus with the apostles.

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