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Lorus Bishop Pratt
(Tooele, Utah, 1855 - 1923, Salt Lake City, Utah)
Lorus M. Pratt, son of Orson Pratt, studied art at the University of Deseret with Dan Weggeland and George M. Ottinger. After being encouraged by these two professors, Pratt traveled to New York and Philadelphia for further study. While in Philadelphia, Pratt visited an exposition of American and European Art. It was this experience that ignited Pratt's desire to travel to Europe and study.
Pratt's first visit to Europe came in 1879 when he was called to serve an LDS mission to England with his father Orson Pratt. In 1885, he traveled to Paris with his wife and four children. In 1890, church leaders felt a need for "modern French murals" in the temples. As a result, Pratt, along with John Hafen, J.B. Fairbanks and Edwin Evans were sent to Paris to study art at the Academie Julian. Pratt was greatly influenced by Rigelot, a landscape artist who worked in the tradition of Corot. During this period, Pratt's subject matter changed to depictions of "Workers of the soil." This harvest genre continued to be Pratt's most significant subject matter into the twentieth century. Before going to Paris, Pratt found local support for his artwork. However, on his return, Pratt's work did not gain acceptance. Therefore, his artwork ended up with relatives or bill collectors. Lorus B. Pratt died in 1923 surrounded by poverty. However, he passed on the love for art to his son and grandson.
Harvest in France was painted in 1891. It depicts a field in early morning, full of haystacks and sunlight. Pratt's attention to light as the subject and the pastel color scheme is reminiscent of the impressionistic style.