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Bastien-Lepage, Jules (1848 - 1884)
Nothing DoingDate: 1882
Technique: Oil on canvas
Museum: National Gallery of Scotland
Size: 132.10 x 89.50 cm,
Notes: A young boy looks directly out of the painting clad in raggedy clothes and large unlaced boots. His relaxed air fits the title which is an abbreviation of the French slang: 'Il n'y a pas meche' meaning 'There's nothing doing'. The whip he holds and the horn slung on his back suggest that he was a barge boy who would have controlled the horses pulling the barge and alerted the lockmasters of its imminent arrival. The painting was made for the London art dealers Arthur Tooth and Sons and was included in the artist's memorial exhibition held in Paris in 1885.
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