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Achille Laugé
The Garden Near Cailhau By Achille Laugé

Circa 1896

About the Item

Achille Laugé 1861-1944 French The Garden Near Cailhau Signed "A. Laugé 96" (lower left) Oil on canvas “Laugé’s art is one of great sensitivity and controlled reason; he is a master of light.” — Antoine Bourdelle, French Artist, Esteemed Peer, June 1927 This incredible work by Achille Laugé entitled The Garden Near Cailhau showcases the masterful artist at his very best. During his lifetime, Achille Laugé was celebrated by his peers and the public alike for producing dazzling works with subtly divided southern light, pure tones and rigorous geometry. His reputation continued to grow after his death, and today the art market recognizes him as a master of Neo-Impressionism. Though his command of the pointillist and divisionist styles often draws comparison to his Neo-Impressionist peers like Seurat and Signac, Laugé approached the style with his own unique sensibility. Laugé‘s oeuvre showcases his taste for monumental, static art emphasizing rhythm, line and purity. More personally, Laugé was deeply inspired by his hometown's natural beauty and familiarity. The Garden Near Cailhau depicts a quintessential scene from the artist — a touching tribute to his beloved home. Featuring a road flanked by trees and bathed in sunlight, the flowering trees that line the path merge with the pointillist dots to create a stunning visual effect. The tree-lined path recedes into the distance towards the commune of Cailhau on top of a hill. The composition masterfully combines all the principles of divisionism while staying true to Laugé’s roots. Marked by a luminous color palette and a robust paint application that causes the scene to emerge in three dimensions, it is among the finest of Laugé’s output, and the canvas remains in its original unlined state in perfect condition. The son of a farmer, Achille Laugé initially opted for a career as a pharmacist before giving up his studies to enroll at the Toulouse School of Fine Arts in 1876. During his apprenticeship, he met Antoine Bourdelle, Henri Martin and Henri Marre, who encouraged him to go to Paris in 1882 to study at the École des Beaux-Arts. It was in Paris in the early 1890s that Laugé discovered the paintings of Seurat and Signac. He was encouraged by Bourdelle, who told him, "You bring a very personal vision, a great deal of serene logic and a beautiful gift of unity in the love of the luminous air that reigns even in your shadows" — very high praise from a peer! After his sojourn to Paris, Laugé returned to his childhood home of Cailhau near Carcassonne in the Aude, establishing himself permanently in somewhat relative isolation and only exhibiting on the rare occasion at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris. It was within this strategic isolation that the artist refined his point of view and honed his individual stylistic language. Born in 1861 to wealthy farmers, he moved to Toulouse at the age of 17 to study pharmacy. At this time, he also enrolled part-time at the school of the Beaux-Arts, where he befriended the artist Bourdelle. Three years later, he moved to Paris, where he studied under the famous masters Alexandre Cabanel and Aristide Maillol, making his debut at the Salon in 1884. Like many other artists of his generation, Laugé eventually rejected the conservative ideals of this teacher, falling under the Post-Impressionist influence of Georges Seurat. By 1888, his landscapes became assiduous experiments in complementary colors and light on canvas. He exhibited three paintings at the Salon des Indépendants in 1894, as well as with the Nabis that same year. In addition, Laugé held several one-man shows in Paris, Toulouse and Perpignan from 1907 to 1930. It was after his departure from Paris that Laugé developed his divisionist technique, following the lead of Seurat and the Pointillists. Although Laugé never adopted Seurat’s scientific attitude, his interest in the primacy and division of color resulted in work with a vivid, translucent palette. From 1888 until about 1896, Laugé composed his pictures with small points of color. At the end of the century, he abandoned the dots and dabs and painted his landscapes, portraits and still-lifes with thin, systematically placed strokes resembling crosshatching. After 1905, he applied his pigments more freely, with enlarged strokes and thick impasto that brought him closer to a traditional impressionist technique whilst maintaining his ability to paint the effect of southern light. Today, his exceptional works can be found at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and museums throughout France, including the Musée d'Orsay in Paris. Circa 1896 Canvas: 25 1/2" high x 32" wide, 64.77 x 81.28 cm Frame: 31 1/2" high x 37 7/8" wide, 80.01 x 96.20 cm Provenance: Acquired directly from the artist Private Collection Private Collection, Paris M.S. Rau, New Orleans
  • Creator:
    Achille Laugé (1861-1944, French)
  • Creation Year:
    Circa 1896
  • Dimensions:
    Height: 31.5 in (80.01 cm)Width: 37.88 in (96.22 cm)Depth: 1.5 in (3.81 cm)
  • Medium:
  • Movement & Style:
  • Period:
  • Condition:
  • Gallery Location:
    New Orleans, LA
  • Reference Number:
    Seller: 31-82761stDibs: LU18613932502
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