Gaston La Touche
His family originally came from Normandy. His passion for art began at a very early age and he finally convinced his parents to give him drawing lessons, which he took for ten years from a local instructor at the rate of three Francs per month. His lessons had to be cancelled at the start of the Franco-Prussian War, when his family returned to Normandy to ensure their safety. This would be all the formal art training he ever received.
Nevertheless, in 1875 he was able to make his début at the Salon with a bas-relief portrait medallion of François Jules Edmond Got, an actor at the Comédie-Française, and several etchings. Between 1877 and 1879, he made the acquaintance of Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet, who he met with frequently at the Café de la Nouvelle Athènes. It was there that he was introduced to Émile Zola, some of whose works he would later illustrate.
Beginning in 1880, he produced dark toned works of social realism in the style of the Dutch Masters. His first painting was shown at the Salon the following year. Félix Bracquemond, a friend and associate, suggested that he might be more successful if he brightened his color palettte and chose different subjects, recommending Antoine Watteau and François Boucher as models. He also painted landscapes and portraits in the style of Puvis de Chavannes, which brought him his first major successes at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. In 1891, he burned most of his earlier paintings.
Later, he received commissions to provide decorations for the Town Hall in Saint-Cloud and the reception hall at the Ministry of Justice (Hôtel de Bourvallais), although the latter were never installed there and are now at the Palais du Luxembourg. In 1900, he was one of several artists who provided decorations for Le Train Bleu, a famous restaurant near the Gare de Lyon.
In his later years, he divided his time between his studio in Saint-Cloud and his family's properties in Champsecret. In 1909, he was named an Officer in the Legion d'Honneur. In 1912, he completed his last major decorative project at "Villa Arnaga", Edmond Rostand's home in Cambo-les-Bains, which is now a museum. He died while painting.
Among the works he illustrated are The Dram and L'Assommoir by Zola, Aux flancs du Vase by Albert Samain and Poèmes by Henri de Régnier, - Albert Samain, 1898 On the slopes of the Vase , publishing Society of Friends of Books, 1898, Henri de Regnier - , Poems, 1917.
- 1884 - Medals 3 e class at the Salon of French artists for a wish and another
- 1888 - Medal 2 e class at the Salon of French artists for the new mother
- 1889 - Silver Medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris
- 1900 - Gold medal at the Universal Exhibition in Paris
- 1875 - Exhibition of French Artists , medallion in bas-relief portrait of Francis Got some etchings and
- 1881 - Exhibition of French Artists, The Lady of the fifth
- 1882 - Salon of French artists, the Burial of a Child in Normandy
- 1884 - Salon of French artists (3 Medal E Class)
- 1888 - Salon of French artists (Medal 2 E Class)
- 1890 - Exhibition of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts , Phlox
- 1896 - Exhibition of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, decorative panel that bears his wife and son
- 1906 - 1 st Exhibition of Painting Water
- 1910 - Living Arts. Four decorative panels for the Department of Justice (never installed), are at the Palais du Luxembourg
- 1889 - Exposition Universelle in Paris
- 1899 - International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice (Biennale)
- 1900 - Exposition Universelle in Paris
- 1908 - Galerie Georges Petit , a retrospective exhibition of more than three hundred of his works
- 1909 - Gallery Boussod and Valadon in The Hague, Netherlands, Netherlands
Other selected paintings
- Selina Baring Maclennan, Gaston La Touche: A Painter of Belle Époque Dreams, Antique Collectors Club (2009) ISBN 1-85149-602-5
- Jean Valmy-Baysse, Gaston La Touche, sa vie, son œuvre, from the series "Peintres d'Aujourd'hui", éditions F. Juven, Paris, 1910. Online.
- Henri Frantz, Gaston La Touche 1854 - 1913, éditions Studio, Paris 1914, London 1915.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Gaston de La Touche.|
- Gaston La Touche website, homepage: with a biography, works, publications and critical commentary.
- Paintings by La Touche @ The Athenaeum.