Gaston La Touche Biography | Oil Paintings

10-24-1854 Saint-Cloud, FRA - 7-12-1913 Paris, FRA

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La Touche, Gaston

Gaston de La Touche art enthusiasm began when he was ten years old and he persuaded his parents to pay for drawing lessons, he took lessons from a local instructor for six years. With the start of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, to be safe, his family returned to Normandy, his art training stopped and this was all the art training he ever got.

Even so, in the Paris Salon of 1875, Gaston La Touche made his debut with a bas-relief medallion portrait of Francois Jules Edmond Got and several etchings. Between 1877 and 1879, he became friends with Edgar Degas and Edouard Manet, who he met often at the Café de la Nouvelle Athènes. At the cafe, he was introduced to the writer Émile Zola, he would illustrate some of his books later on.

Starting in 1880, he painted dark toned social realism works in the style of the old Dutch Masters, and his first painting was shown at the Paris Salon the next year. Not only the paintings were dark in color but they were dark in subject matter which had already been painted before. His friend and painter Félix Bracquemond, who had earlier exhibited with the Impressionists, proposed that he might be more successful if he lightened his color palette and picked distinctive subject matter, suggesting he study and look at the oil paintings of Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, and Puvis de Chavannes. Starting to change his style, Gaston de La Touche had his first major successes at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts by painting landscapes and portraits in their style. His paintings became more colorful with happier subjects, with a touch of fetes-champetres and fantasy. In 1891, not liking what he had done before, he burned most of his earlier oil paintings and sketches, nearly fifteen years of work.

Later, he received commissions to provide decorations for the Town Hall in Saint-Cloud and the reception hall at the Ministry of Justice, although the latter was never installed there and are currently at the Palais du Luxembourg. Among the works Gaston de La Touche illustrated are The Dram and L'Assommoir by Zola, Aux Flancs du Vase by Albert Samain, and Poèmes by Henri de Régnier.

Art Movement: Post Impressionism.
Artists Influencing Gaston La Touche: Félix Bracquemond, Antoine Watteau, François Boucher, Puvis de Chavannes.
Artist's Biography compiled by Albert L. Mansour at The World's Artist, with text adapted from Wikipedia.

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