Léon-Augustin L'Hermitte is one of the most accomplished French naturalist painters of the 19th century, and had an incredible understanding of the natural elements and the human condition.
He was born in Mont Saint-Père in Aisne and was the only son of a village schoolmaster. His talent for drawing was recognized at an early age, winning him an annual education grant from the government. In 1863 he traveled to Paris to study at the Petite Ecole where he studied directly under Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran, famed for his unique methods for training the visual memory, and became friends with fellow artists including Rodin. L'Hermitte exhibited regularly at the Salon throughout his career and was a member of the prestigious Legion d'Honneur. His favorite subject matter for many of his works dealt with rural French life and he was renowned for his plein air compositions.