Award-winning Portrait Painter, Neil Miley, Publishes First Novella
As a portrait painter, Neil Miley has been interested in the relationship between the painter and the sitter for many years. During a 2012 trip to London, he saw Jules Bastien-Lepage's portrait of Henry Irving for the first time and was intrigued by it. The more he found out about the painting, the more interesting its story became, The relationship between the painter and sitter became clearly the reason for the painting being incomplete. Impelled by his discoveries, award-winning painter Miley publishes his new novella, titled "Henry Irving and Jules Bastien-Lepage," the first part of the series, "Paintings of Bastien-Lepage."
Miley clearly understands that the meeting between two great men proved to be extraordinary and momentous in history. His new book details how a famous English actor agrees to sit for a portrait by a famous French painter. Both have something they want to gain from working with each other. It becomes evident that what they want is not compatible and the result is better than what either of them wanted. Unknowingly, this encounter would give birth to a remarkable contribution to world art and history.
Henry Irving was the leading English Shakespearian actor of the late 19th century. He is driven to maintain the public's view of him as he strives to improve his reputation with the elite of English society. Jules Bastien-Lepage was a leading French painter in the Naturalist movement in 1880. He, on the other hand, is driven to produce a portrait that sustains his reputation for analytical representation of his sitters, which brings their aims into obvious conflict. The conflict is exacerbated by the players not being able to speak directly to each other.