Award-winning Portrait Painter Publishes First Novella About Painting

Share Article

Neil Miley debuts with book one of a new series: ‘Henry Irving and Bastien-Lepage.’

News Image

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.

Historic and powerfully impressive, “Henry Irving and Jules Bastien-Lepage,” is a book that allows readers to rediscover two great personalities in the late 19th century. Although particularly written for portrait painters to reflect on the process of portraiture with the sitter, readers in general will understand that portraiture is an important art form that has an importance in public perception of individuals. They will also come to understand that the best portraits are works that are influenced by the painter and the sitter in equal parts.

For more information, log on to

About the Author
Neil Miley is an award-winning painter with a deep interest in late 19th century painting and culture. Travelling widely to gather material for his books, Miley has immersed himself in his subject, just as he does in developing his portraiture and landscape painting. Central to his work is a sense for locations as well as the characters and times that he represents in his books.

Henry Irving and Bastien-Lepage * by Neil Miley
Publication Date: August 18, 2013
Trade Paperback; AU$19.99; 50 pages; 978-1-4836-7000-3
Trade Hardback; AU$39.99; 50 pages; 978-1-4836-7001-0
Ebook; AU$3.99; 978-1-4836-7002-7

Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at 1-800-455-039. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (02) 8088 6078 or call 1-800-455-039.

Xlibris books can be purchased at Xlibris bookstore. For more information, contact Xlibris at 1-800-455-039 or on the web at

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Marketing Services
Email >
Visit website