Jules Adolphe Aimé Louis Breton was a painter and writer.
Breton studied at the Ghent Academy of Fine Art from 1843 and later at the Antwerp Academy of Fine Art. During a sojourn in Paris in 1847 he met the Realist painters François Bonvin and Gustave Brion, who became an early influence. The meeting also intensified his concern for social themes and he became known for his scenes of rural life and labour as in The Gleaners (1857; Dublin, National Gallery of Ireland). Later, in the 1870s, Symbolist themes were reflected in his work as in Song of the Lark (1884; Art Institute of Chicago).
From 1875 he achieved considerable success in literature as well as art with a volume of poetry Les Champs et la mer. Other published work includes La Vie d'un artiste: Art et nature (1890) and Un Peintre paysan (1896).
Vachon, M., Jules Breton, Paris, 1899; Lacouture, Annette Bourrut, Weisberg, Gabriel P., 'Jules Breton,' Grove Dictionary of Art Online, http://www.groveart.com (accessed 19 July 2004).