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Achille Laugé: Southern Light

Achille Laugé: Southern Light

27 October 2022

Achille Laugé: Southern Light


Richard Green has lent two paintings to Achille Laugé 1861-1944: le Néo-Impressionisme dans la Lumière du Sud, on view at the Fondation de l’Hermitage, Lausanne until 30th October 2022. Born of farming stock in the small village of Arzens, west of Carcassonne, Laugé studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and became friendly with Antoine Bourdelle and Aristide Maillol. The sight of Georges Seurat’s Un imanche après-midi à l’île de la Grand Jatte at the Salon des Indépendents in 1886 revolutionized his use of colour and application of paint. Laugé returned to his beloved South of France in 1888, settling in Carcassonne and later in Cailhau. Thenceforth his subjects were the bastides, white drove roads and medieval villages of his home landscape, seen in the fresh green of spring, with the almond trees in bloom, or under the unforgiving summer sun.


A countryman to his fingertips, Laugé delighted in flowers and the fruits of the earth, painting a number of beautiful still lifes, among them the two works lent by Richard Green. Nature morte aux grenades, c.1893-95, reflects Laugé’s highly individual adaptation of Seurat’s Pointillist technique, juxtaposing myriad tiny brushstrokes of pure colour: purple dancing upon emerald in the reflections in the jar full of flowers, yellow against red in the curving contours of the pomegranate. The composition has a simplicity born of acute observation and influenced by Laugé’s fascination with Japanese art. The influence of Asian art is perhaps even more pronounced in Roses dans un verre d’eau, une fleur de geranium, 1893, with its discreet palette of white and pale pink roses and blue-green leaves thrown into focus by the blood-red geranium petals at the foot of the composition. Without abandoning reality, Laugé distils the spirit of the flowers and the purity of their structure. 


Achille Laugé: le Néo-Impressionisme dans la Lumière du Sud, Fondation de l’Hermitage, Lausanne, until 30th October 2022.

 Achille Laugé, Nature morte aux grenades, c.1893-95.

Oil on canvas  23 1/2 x 28 3/4 in / 59.7 x 73 cm

  Achille Laugé, Roses dans un verre d’eau, une fleur de geranium, 1893.

Oil on canvas 17 3/4 x 12 5/8 in / 45.1 x 32.1 cm


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