Achille Laugé: Cailhau in perspective
Found during an inventory carried out for an estate in the Var, this painting takes us on the road to Cailhau in the company of its famous bard, Achille Laugé.
Achille Laugé (1861-1944), Les Amandiers en fleur sur la route de Cailhau (Blossoming Almond Trees on the Road to Cailhau), 1909, oil on canvas, signed and dated, 54 x 73 cm.
The composition is all perspective, as Achille Laugé liked it to be. The viewer is at the bottom of a path beckoning him to walk along a road lined with blossoming almond trees. The town of Cailhau, in southern France, and the painter's house built on family land in 1895, are the destination. The glittering colors characterize the artist's style, the yellow and green of the grass enhancing the white flowers and the road in contrast. Laugé was familiar with this light-drenched landscape, which he constantly painted again and again, varying the viewpoints, seasons or times of day, riding around his house on his studio cart, like Claude Monet on his boat in Giverny. This work dates from 1909. Later, Laugé gradually turned away from a strict pointillist style, inspired by the work of Georges Seurat, which he discovered in Paris, to embrace a freer manner. This gave rise to bright, beautiful, spontaneous landscapes that are now much appreciated by collectors, who are increasingly loyal to this long-unsung artist, but which art-lovers have put back in the spotlight in auction rooms. After years of training in the fine arts and the studios of Academic painters Jean-Paul Laurens and Alexandre Cabanel and a rather difficult start, in 1888 Laugé, a follower of the pictorial avant-gardes, left Paris to live in seclusion in his beloved South of France and achieved well-deserved fame. The little boy from Arzens, in the Aude region, has found his place alongside the great names of post-Impressionism in France.