(1854 - 1941)
Eugene Galien-Laloue was active/lived in France. Eugene GalienLaloue is known for Impressionist street-scene, landscape, coastal and military painting.
Biography from the Archives of askART
Galien-Laloue was born in Paris in December, 1854. He was a pupil of
Charles Laloue and was a member of the Salon des Artistes Francais* from
1877. He painted the countryside around Normandy and Seine-et-Marne, and
he is known to have illustrated some military subjects in 1914.
Biography from Rehs Galleries, Inc.
However, Galien-Laloue is most highly regarded for his exquisite
paintings of Paris in which he conveys the essence of the Belle Epoque*.
His most usual medium for these works was gouache*, a mixture of opaque
watercolour and glue, which he used to maximum effect.
The artist captures the atmosphere of the bustling and fashionable
boulevards of the great city and his portrayal of the horse-drawn
carriages, trolley cars and the first omnibuses are of historical as
well as artistic interest. Galien-Laloue was a forerunner in
popularizing the painting of street scenes and later artists such as
Edouard Cortes and Antoine Blanchard were inspired and influenced by
He died on 18th April, 1941.
Trinity House-Fine Art Consultants,
* For more in-depth
information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary
Some artists or writers are content to have a pseudonym so as to
disguise their work. Eugène Galien Laloue was particularly adept
at establishing several identities, since over the course of his career
he worked under three pseudonyms: J. Lievin - after a soldier he met
during the Franco-Prussian war, E. Galiany - an Italianized version of
his own names, and L. Dupuy - after Dupuy Léon who lived in his same
area. While these are three confirmed names that he used, there is the
possibility that he used other names as well.
Biography from Anderson Galleries, Inc.
Even his name "Galien" is questionable, since on occasion he spelled it
with one "l" and on his birth certificate it is spelled "Gallien". Why
the artist went to such great lengths to perplex audiences and
historians is the question that remains to be answered. Despite
preoccupation with the reclusive nature of this man, he depicted Paris
and the surrounding landscape with his cool palette; in doing so he
became another recorder of popular Parisian life. He balanced his
architectural interest in Paris with several landscape views and was an
equally if not more proficient draughtsman.
He was born on December 11, 1854 in Montmartre, the oldest of
eventually nine children. His father, Charles, died when he was
sixteen years old, after which point his mother, Endoxie, found him a
job at the local notary. He left school to fill the
position. But shortly after he felt the nationalistic urge to
enlist in the military. Quitting his job and faking his name in
1871, he left for his military duty, which led him through the end of
the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. By then he had decided to
become a painter. For such an eager participant in the military,
to turn immediately to painting must have been a reaction against the
bloody events of the Franco-Prussian war; a way to forget what he had
seen. In 1874, he was employed by the French Railway lines as an
illustrator, depicting the rail track that was being laid from Paris to
the provinces. Concurrently he began painting the surrounding
landscapes as well.
While practical, this was unusual "training" for a young art
student. His artistic training seemed to come via his other
jobs. He exhibited for the first time in 1876 at the Museum of
Reims, showing Le quai aux fleurs par la neige (Flower Market Along the Seine Under the Snow). The following year he exhibited for the first time at the annual Parisian Salon, showing En Normandie
(In Normandy) as well as two gouaches. He preferred executing
gouaches since they were less time consuming as his oils and brought
comparable prices. At this time his teacher was listed as being
M.C. Laloue, Claude Laloue, perhaps his late father who would have
taught him a more academic approach or an uncle.
From the beginning of his career and perhaps spurred by his travels
along the railway lines, Galien Laloue became interested in showing the
natural environment. While not uncommon, it was perhaps an
interesting theme for an artist who did not necessarily seek to connect
with nature and while painting en plein-air, he "hated to walk in any
mud and even a blade of grass bothered him." (Noë Willer, Eugène Galien-Laloue: 1854-1941, New York: Alexander Kahan, 1999, pg. 16)
He had a reclusive personality, which also may explain the reasons
behind his numerous pseudonyms. He preferred the solitariness of
his studio and thus did not paint his works entirely on-site.
Unlike many other artists as well, he did not like to travel and many
of his views of other cities or countries were inspired by postcards
and photographs, an increasing tendency with many artists as
photography became a more established method of use. Noë Willer
further elaborates upon the unique personality of this artist (pg. 16):
He was not eccentric but always conservative, practically a
royalist. He was obsessed with his painting. In his private
life he found simplicity alluring: he married three sisters, one after
the other (beginning with the youngest and ending with the
oldest). They had all lived next door to him. He lived a
monastic life. All worldly pursuits, games, alcohol, the pleasure
of the flesh were not for him. Riding his bicycle to places in
Paris to paint was his only physical exercise.
His personality kept him at a distance from his contemporaries who were
working in his same manner. He was more concerned with the sale
of his paintings, of which he kept scrupulous notes but still sold each
painting for the same price. He was an active participant in the
annual Parisian Salons until 1889 where he exhibited two gouaches Bernay (Bernay), and Bords de la Meuse
(Banks of the Meuse). After this point he took a five year
sabbatical, during which time his daughter was born; he returned to the
exhibition in 1904 with Le Boulevard Bonne Nouvelle (The Bonne
Nouvelle Boulevard). He also was submitting his works to
exhibitions in Angers and Saint Quentin, where his work received the
following review (Willer, pg. 33):
Once again we mention Mr. Eugène Galien Laloue for his lovely gouaches,
as full as oils, which show most picturesquely the popular quarters of
During the first two decades of the twentieth century he also exhibited
at Dijon, Orléans, Versailles, Roubaix, Saint Etienne, Bordeaux, Monte
Carlo, Hautecoeur, among several other cities.
As World War I broke out, he was exempt from military service because
he had volunteered for the Franco-Prussian war. He was too old to
take part in the war. Instead, he took to his canvas and depicted
scenes of soldiers in the midst of battle, paying close attention to
the setting and other details such as their costumes and the action of
their involvement. His own previous military experience must have
inspired his depictions, since in his military scenes his figures are
given a more prominent role than in either his Parisian scenes or his
landscape paintings. He identified with these soldiers.
Galien Laloue continued to paint until 1940, when he broke the arm with
which he held his brush. Despite his reluctance to integrate
himself with others, his paintings offer a record of late nineteenth
and early twentieth century Paris, focusing not so much on the
relationship between its citizens, but more so on the architectural
aspects of the city. He moved out of Paris many times to depict
the landscapes of Normandy and the surroundings of Barbizon, making his
home for a short time in Fontainebleau. While his Parisian scenes
were often of the fall and winter, he preferred to document the
landscape during the brighter months of spring and summer. He
also documented life along the canals and banks of the sea and rivers,
showing an interest in maritime exploits. He had become very
popular with both French and especially American artists and continued
to paint the same scenes of Paris throughout his career. He died
in his daughter's house in Chérence, where they had taken refuge at the
beginning of the Second World War, on April 18th, 1941.
Galien-Laloue is known and widely collected as a School of Paris or
Belle Epoque painter. Most people are familiar with his Parisian
street scenes that are similar to those by Luigi Loir and Edouard
Cortes. They are often works on paper done with watercolor and
gouache, though he is known to have worked in a multitude of media
including pen, pencil and ink, and oil. These street scenes have
become highly collected and desired as they were even during his
Biography from Daphne Alazraki Fine Art
Born in Paris in 1854, Galien-Laloue studied under Charles
Laloue. Galien-Laloue made his debut at the Salon des Artistes
Francais in 1877, and continued throughout his years to show his works
there with great success. In recent years, his work has enjoyed
an international resurgence in popularity.
Yet Galien-Laloue had
another side. As he was under contract to particular galleries
and not allowed to show with others, he often painted under
aliases. This allowed him to paint something other than the
commercially salable street scenes and to have artistic freedom.
An alias gave him the ability to sell his more serious works and to
make sales outside his dealer's gallery. Thus, Galien-Laloue
signed many oils with names such as Galiani and Lieven.
was prolific and painted in many different styles throughout his
career. He was a versatile painter and it should be noted that this was
partially because he was such a superb and facile draftsman.
painters of Parisian street scenes form a genre all its own, and
paintings of this ilk still decorate Paris squares, bridges, and
sidewalks. The historically artistic areas of Paris such as Monmartre
are literally bursting at the seams with such street scenes and quaint
stalls complete with a man who is unmistakably the artist himself,
often painting happily away as the tourist amble past. But a
painter of this nature during the time of the Belle Epoque surely
feasted on a different Paris. Galien-Laloue was painting in an
electrifying city, a city that was the artistic and cultural center of
the world, a city in which ladies of high fashion paraded about streets
that were for the first time being freshly populated by omnibuses and
cabs. The entertainment and nightlife of Paris was unequalled by
any other city in the world and Galien-Laloue captured that moment.
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.
** If you discover credit omissions or have additional information to add, please let us know at
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, he did paintings of the early 1900s, which 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 French Impressionists Edouard Cortes and Antoine Blanchard.
* For more in-depth information about these terms and others, see AskART.com Glossary http://www.askart.com/AskART/lists/Art_Definition.aspx
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