Oil on canvas
12 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches (31.8 x 44.5 cm.)
Framed: 20 x 26 inches (50.8 x 66 cm.)
Signed: Lievin (his pseudonym)
Private collection, Arizona
Born in Paris in December of 1854 to French-Italian parents, Eugene Galien-Laloue is recognized as one of the top masters of French impressionist street scenes.
Beginning in 1877, he was student of Charles Laloue, a long-time member of the Artistes Francais, a prestigious French art association. Gifted beyond measure, Galien-Laloue became well known at the turn of the century for capturing the very ambiance of Paris on his canvas. He made his exhibiting debut at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1877 and continued to show his works there with great success throughout his life.
During the early part of his career as an artist, Galien-Laloue took on several pseudonyms because of an exclusive contract with a major gallery. These pseudonyms included L. Dupuy, J. Lievin, Lenoir and E. Galiany, all of which are listed in the E. Benezit Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs and the Galien-Laloue Catalogue.
Working in gouache with light, delicate strokes, Galien-Laloue had the uncanny ability to give the illusion of detail in an Impressionistic style. Well known in France, his paintings of the early 1900s accurately represent the era in which he lived – Paris’ happy, bustling days of horse-drawn carriages, trolley cars, and its first omnibuses.
A typical Galien-Laloue painting depicts scenes of Parisian sidewalks and avenues crowded with people or turn-of-the-century tourists mingling before the capital’s monuments.
In addition, the artist’s landscapes of Normandy and Seine-et-Marne are highly esteemed, as well as the military scenes he produced in 1914. Indeed, Galien-Laloue’s works are valued not only for their contribution to 20th century art, but also for the actual history, which they document.
A forerunner in popularizing the painting of street scenes, Galien-Laloue has inspired and influenced many of yesterday’s and today’s artists, including renowned French Impressionists Edouard Cortes and Antoine Blanchard.
Marché aux fleurs Place de la Madeleine is typical of Galien-Laloue’s style. Here he presents the viewer with an energetic Parisian street scene, one of his favorite subjects. On the right-hand side in front of a colonnaded façade, people browse the selection at a flower stand filled with delicate pink hues. To the left, the street bustles with cars and streetcars, as well as crossing pedestrians. At the very center of the composition, a woman in a rich blue coat and hat steps down to cross the street. The detail in the texture of her fur muff, and the fur trim on her coat is truly amazing. The small, pale green buds on the trees indicate that it is early spring, and the light and subtle shades used throughout seem to amplify this fact. This is a beautiful work that shows Galien-Laloue at his best.