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Achille Laugé 

The willow path behind the Alouette, the artist's house

19.68 x 13.39 inch

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Achille Laugé 

Achille Laugé 

Biography of Achille Laugé  ( 1861-1944 )

Son of a farmer, Achille Laugé first began a pharmacist’s career before stopping his studies and entering the Fine Arts School of Toulouse in 1876. During his apprenticeship, he met Antoine Bourdelle, Henri Martin and Henri Marre, who encouraged him to go to Paris in 1882 in order to enter the Fine Arts School. At the age of twenty, he used to go to Cabanel’s studio, then Jean-Paul Laurens’ one. There, he met Bourdelle and became friend with the sculptor Aristide Maillol with whom he shared a studio on rue de Sèvres until 1888.

Tired with academic teaching, Achille Laugé was interested in Neo-Impressionism and was influenced by the painters Georges Seurat, Paul Signac and Camille Pissarro. The young painter worked on the pointillist and divisionist technique inspired by Seurat, Signac and Pissarro, with his own sensitivity. As a great admirer of Puvis de Chavanne, Achille Laugé liked monumental and static art with rhythm, line and purity.

Deeply attached to Carcassonne and his native country, Achille Laugé left Paris in 1888 to definitively settle in the Aude department.

In 1894, he exhibited five paintings at the Salon of the Independents. But his paintings did not meet success and the critics in the Revue Méridionale were not in his favour. Laugé's divisionist style brought art critics to consider him as a follower, while today his work is considered unique. Laugé was encouraged by Bourdelle, who told him that he had « a very particular vision, many serene logic and a beautiful unity in your love for light ». Achille Laugé was supported by a part of the local bourgeoisie that assured him an income, but also by great painters like Bonnard, Denis, Vallotton, Vuillard, Toulouse-Lautrec or Sérusier with whom he exhibited in Toulouse.

After his father’s death, Achille Laugé settled in Cailhau, in the region of Razès, where he found his inspiration. He painted outside, sometimes with oil, sometimes with pastel, before working in his studio with pointillist technique. He liked to play with changing lights according to hours and seasons. He made many still lifes, always painted with oil and sometimes inspired by traditional Japanese art.

In 1900, he exhibited at the Salon of the National Society of Fine Arts his painting In front of the window, representing two figures and flowers in front of a landscape. This painting was refused, as well as the one he presented for the 1908’s Autumn Salon. Tired with these failures at the Salons, he only exhibited with Parisian dealers: his friend Achille Astre, settled rue Laffitte, Alvin-Beaumont, Bernheim and Georges Petit.

In 1905, Achille Laugé made a memorable caravan-studio that allowed him to paint outside in all types of weather.

Between 1914 and 1919, the artist obtained some public commissions, including several designs for tapestries to be produced by the Gobelins factory. One of this carpet is now kept in the collection of the French Mobilier National.

He was a solitary painter who made some brilliant works, with southern light ingeniously divided, pure tones and rigorous geometry. His renown never stopped increasing after his death and he is now recognized as a master of Neo-Impressionism.

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