Albert Lebourg 

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Biography of Albert Lebourg  ( 1849-1929 )

Born in the Eure department in Normandy, Albert Lebourg was only nineteen years old when he settled in Rouen to work with an architect. In the evening, he took painting and drawing lessons with Gustave Morin. Nevertheless, he quickly get bored of doing copies of antique plasters and prefered to paint outside, looking for inspiration in the surrounding countryside.

In 1872, he was noticed by a collector who proposed him to become a drawing teacher at the Fine Arts school in Algiers, where he stayed for five years. During this time, Albert Lebourg devoted himself to painting, inspired by the light variations. He liked to paint l’Amirauté, its embankments and its green balconies, the mosque Jamaa al-Jdid, also named mosque of the Pêcherie, and the little streets of the white city.

Lebourg often painted the same motifs at different moments of the day. His palette brightened and his style was completely impressionnist. However, the artist was still ignorant of this new artistic movement that he will discover when he got back in France in 1877. While he admired Monet, Pissarro or Sisley’s works, Lebourg immediately felt being in tune with Impressionism.

In Paris, he went to Jean-Paul Laurens’ studio and started to sell his paintings, taking part in the 1878’s Rouen Exhibition. In 1879 and 1880, he exhibited with the impressionnists ten paintings and ten charcoal drawings, representing Algeria and Normandy. Then he took his independance again and became the key figure of the Ecole de Rouen, the impressionnist movement situated close to the Norman city.

Tireless traveller, he painted as well in Normandy, Auvergne, Netherlands, Switzerland or in England. His favorite subjects were : Paris’ embankments, Notre-Dame, riverbanks near Paris, the city of Rouen and its surroundings. The cities of Croisset, Dieppe, La Bouille were also some inexhaustible source of inspiration.

He had his first solo exhibiton in 1896 at the Antonio Mancini’s gallery. There, his works met great success. After that, many Parisian dealers exhibited his paintings : Bernheim in 1899 and 1910, Rosenberg in 1903 and 1906. But the most important exhibition was held in 1918 in the Parisian art gallery Georges Petit.

Lebourg became Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. Member of the National Society of Fine Arts, he almost exhibited every years at the Salon between 1891 and 1914.

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