This enchanting Neo-Impressionist landscape by the French artist Achille Laugé captures the blossoming of spring in his celebrated pointillist style. The work is representative of the artist's enduring attachment to Alet-les-Bains, a picturesque commune in the south of France where he eventually established a studio. The idyllic village, with its meadows, gardens, medieval ruins, and blossoming almond trees, inspired some of the best works of the artist's oeuvre, and the present work can be counted among them.
In this vibrant oil on canvas entitled Arbres en Fleur à Alet-les-Bains, a pointillist sky is painted so that it is shimmering and radiant, and the landscape reflects Laugé's brightly colored world. The flowering almond trees - a favored subject for Laugé - are captured with splashes of pink against the array of greens, blues, and yellows that form the French landscape. His trademark pointillist style is on full display, with thick points of pigment and bright colors that create a stunning scene full of vitality and light.
Born in 1861 the son of 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 Cabandel 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 George 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. Today, his exceptional works can be found in museums throughout France, including the Musée D'Orsay in Paris.
This work will be included in the forthcoming Laugé Catalogue Raisonné being prepared by Nicole Tamburini.
Canvas: 21 3/8" high x 29" wide
Frame: 30" high x 37 1/2" wide
Signature: Signed and dated "A. Laugé 1924" (lower right)