Friday, February 19, 2010

Eugene Galien-Laloue

I've been reading Hans Bacher's fabulous blog, One1More2Time3, for at least a year now. His mix of animation art and unusual artists makes it one of my favorite blogs to visit mostly because I always find something to inspire me. I've been introduced to tons of great new artists and find daily inspiration in some of the most beautiful backgrounds to ever grace an animated cartoon. I'm constantly amazed at how much work went into the early cartoons and how much that tends to be missing from the more current ones.

Recently Hans showed some images from one of his favorite artists and the man has quickly become one of my favorite artists as well. Eugene Galien-Laloue (1854-1941) was not a name I'd heard before but his work has been sought by collectors for years. He was an impressionist painter living during the turn of the century in Paris, a time known as Belle Epoque. His work focuses mostly on typical Parisian street scenes and are beautiful in their use of color and detail. Galien-Laloue was a mostly gouache painter, which I find even more fascinating. Not a lot of artists use gouache regularly since it tends to be less enduring. But I find that is offers much richer colors than most of the watercolors or oils even. It is Galien-Laloue's use of color and focus on architecture that drew me to his work.

Most of the work I've seen of his focuses on the winter and fall seasons. But he was not a plein-air (outdoor) painter. It is believed that he took photographs or used postcards as inspiration for much of his work while his painting was done in the studio. I am fascinated with his use of lighting to create such warm and welcoming environments. I find myself wanting to be drawn into the paintings and walk the streets of Paris at that time. The focus on architecture is not unique for that time but I find it intriguing. Parisian architecture, particularly turn of the century, has always been some of my favorite styles of architecture. And Galien-Laloue renders the buildings with so much detail. The people in the foreground may be blurred but the buildings in the backgrounds are as crisp as if I were standing on the street. This gives a great impression of movement and bustle. Add in the colors and I'm completely in love. I know that I currently could not afford any of his work but that's something to look out for in the future. I would love to find a piece of my own. So beautiful.

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