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Achille Laugé

(1861 - 1944)

The son of wealthy farmers, Achille Laugé was born in Arzens in the Aude, 29th August 1861. In 1878 his parents sent him to study at a pharmacy in Toulouse, however, against their wishes he enrolled at the school of the Beaux-Arts where he met the artist Bourdelle. In 1881 Laugé enrolled at the Beaux-Arts in Paris where he came into contact with the artists Alexandre Cabanal (1823-1889), Jean-Paul Laurens (1838-1921) and Aristide Maillol (1861-1944), who became a lifelong friend. He debuted at the Paris Salon in 1884 with a painting depicting his friend Bourdelle. Laugé left Paris in 1888 and moved to Cailhau, near Carcassonne where he established many friendships. By the end of his time in Paris he had begun to adopt the divisionist touch of the Neo-Impressionists under the influence of Georges Seurat (1859-1891), and was an admirer of Camille Pissarro (1830-1903) and Paul Signac (1863-1935). Sunlight was seminal to Laugé’s paintings and his compositions reflect the harsh sunlight of the south. As with many of his contemporaries painting along similar lines, Henri-Edmond Cross (1856-1910) and Henri Martin (1860-1943) amongst them, Laugé was drawn further south, painting near Collioure on the coast and inland, like many of his contemporaries, Laugé painted ‘en plein air’ using a mobile studio of his own design. In 1894 he exhibited three paintings at the Salon des Independants, as well as several works in an exhibition that included Pierre Bonnard (1867-1947), Paul Sérusier (1863-1927), Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) and Edouard Vuillard (1868-1940) in Toulouse. His first one-man show opened in Paris in 1907, followed by others in 1911, 1919, 1923, 1927, 1929 and 1930, held at the likes of Achille Astre, Bernheim Jeune and Georges Petit. In addition to landscapes, Laugé was a painter of floral still lifes being commissioned to design a tapestry to be produced by Gobelin. Retrospective exhibitions of his work were held in 1958 at the Musée de Limoux, in 1961 at the Musée des Augustins in Toulouse, in 1966 and 1968 in London, in New York in 1967 and in Paris in 1969. In 1968 he was represented in an exhibition dedicated to Neo-Impressionism at the Guggenheim Museum in New York and at a further exhibition of Neo-Impressionism at the Musée d’Orsay Paris Le Néo-Impressionisme de Seurat à Paul Klee, March - July 2005. Laugé died at Cailhau on 2nd June 1944. His works can be found in museums in: Carcassonne; Geneva; Grenoble; Limoux; Montauban; Montpellier; Morlaix; Paris, Musée D’Orsay; Perpignan; Rome and Toulouse.