oil on canvas
19.7 x 24 inches (50 x 61 cm)
signed and dated lower left
Achille Laugé: le point, la ligne, la lumière, Musée des Beaux-Arts, Carcassone, and Le musée Petiet, Limoux, 16 October 2009-16 January 2010
Achille Laugé: le point, la ligne, la lumière, Musée de la Chartreuse, Douai, 26 February 2010-6 June 2010
It was in Paris in the early 1890s, while sharing a studio with Aristide Maillol, that Laugé discovered the paintings of Seurat and Signac. He entered the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris in 1882 where he studied for four years. During this time he would have undoubtedly seen the avant-garde work of the Neo-Impressionists that so strongly influenced his work.
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. From 1888 until about 1898, Laugé would compose his pictures with these small dabs of color, and during this time produced some of his most seminal works. By combining all the principles of divisionism: balance of composition, pure superimposed colours and a marked sensitivity to light, shade and tone, he encapsulates the mastery of medium we associate with the works of Seurat and Signac. Indeed, for an artist who preferred to paint quietly in the beauty and tranquillity of the Midi, away from the public eye, Laugé is now recognized as an equally important and pivotal artist of his time, with his works held in several major museums, including the Musée d’Orsay and the Musée du Louvre in Paris.
Le jardin au printemps, with its jewel-like surface and vivid translucent palette, remains to this day in beautiful condition. Such works by the artist seldom come to the market.
‘Laugé’s art is one of great sensitivity and controlled reason; he is a master of light’ (Antoine Bourdelle quoted in ‘Le peintre Achille Laugé’ in Comoedia, p. 3, Paris, 23 June 1927).