Straight to the point in Collioure
enri Matisse, soon joined by André Derain, fell under Collioure's spell in the summer of 1905. The blue of the sky and sea, the green of the vineyards and olive trees and the yellow-ochre of the houses enchanted both artists. Using "colours that came out of a tube", they focused their palettes on pure, bright tones, laying the groundwork for Fauvism. Then other painters, attracted by the exceptional site, flocked to the Catalan port and enjoyed meeting one another at the Bar des Templiers. Achille Laugé, born in Arzens, in the Aude, was one of them. He had dropped out of pharmacy school to train at the Toulouse School of Fine Arts, where he became friends with the sculptor Bourdelle. The pair moved to Paris, where they frequented the studios of Laurens and Cabanel. Dissatisfied with
Where ? When ? Who ? Toulouse 8 November Chassaing - Marambat auction house. Cabinet de Louvencourt - Sevestre - Barbé.
How much ? €100,000-150,000
academic teaching, Laugé discovered Georges Seurat’s art and pointillism. In 1888 he went to Cailhau, a small town near Limoux, where he adopted Divisionism. Laugé, who could not care less about the honours of a Paris career, won support from a circle of art lovers who gathered around La Revue méridionale, including Albert Sarraut, Achille Astre, Jean Alboize and Achille Rouquet. Sarraut, who was then President of the council of ministers, introduced him to a Languedoc financier. At the time, the painter, who was around 60 years old, still had trouble earning a livelihood from his art. The businessman regularly offered him room and board and bought him canvasses, brushes, paints and the other items he needed for his art. Laugé gave him paintings as thanks. Today 12 works from the collection, which have never before been on the market, are up for auction, including this one painted during a trip to Collioure, which characterises the essence of his art. The famous round tower next to the church of NotreDame des Anges dominates the composition, which is based on large lines and eliminates the quaint and the anecdotal; it advances into the sea like a sentinel, watching over the comings and goings in the port. Laugé skilfully painted the colourful beaches using the famous "confetti" and "mesh pattern", playing with various shades of the primary colours, blue, red and yellow. The light models the houses’ warm tones, dappling the water’s surface; the sun shines on the bay with splendid bursts of yellow. The flickering tones unified by the optical mix allow a landscape of a naturally moving reality to appear. The true art of pointillism. Chantal Humbert
GAZETTE DROUOT INTERNATIONAL I N° 19