My favorite 19th century French artist of rural landscapes is Eugene Galien-Laloue, 1854-1941.
His life, both personal and professional, is intriquing.
Galien-Laloue was quite the solitary man and rode a bicycle to paint his country scenes as he hated walking in mud and even grass. The most intriguing aspect of his personal life....he married each of 3 sisters. The sisters were his neighbors and he married the youngest sister first. After her death, he then 5 years later married the middle sister...and yes, after her death, while in his seventies he married the oldest sister.
In his professional life, he continues his intrigue....for he painted with many names/signatures.
It has been said by those that studied his life...no other artist has worked with so many pseudonyms.
He signed the above rural landscape, "Lievin"....possibly honoring a soldier friend, Jacques, that was from the town of Lievin.
One of my happy Marburger clients took this one home to Dallas.
In addition to landscapes, Galien-Laloue also painted marines...often inspired by postcards and photographs.
The above marine has another of his popular signatures, "L. Dupuy", possibly used to honor an artist friend, Leon Dupuy, almost 60 years older than Galien-Laloue. They both lived in Fontainbleau and enjoyed painting rural landscapes.
Galien-Laloue did sign his birth name on his Paris street scenes....yet another subject that was so different in nature to the rural landscapes and marines. For the Paris scenes, he often chose to paint in gouache rather than oil as gouache dried easier and he could complete a work in two days rather than two weeks in oil.
Painting techniques were influenced by his background...his father had been a set designer for theatre.... the architecture was painted precise with attention to season, sky, lighting, and time of day. Sometimes, he even used relatives to help animate the scenes.
As he painted Paris street life for over 50 years, his paintings tell a colorful story of the history of Paris.
The Paris scenes are extremely valued....the above scene of the Grand Boulevards (pencil and watercolor on card) sold for $90,000 at auction in 2007.
Another in gouache sold for $173,000 in 2004.
Even his less important Paris pieces usually demand prices $30,000-$50,000.
Galien-Laloue continued painting in his eighties....painting constantly and only stopping to eat.
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