La Touche, Gaston De (1854-1913) Souvenir D’espagne
LA TOUCHE, Gaston de (1854-1913) Souvenir d’Espagne
Gouache and pastel on paper
Signed on the lower right: Gaston La Touche
Label on the back : P. Navez, Pariss, Exposition de 1027, numéro 18
Provenance : private collector, Montreal (sale Sotheby’s, New York, June 24, 1988, lot 154A); Dr. Leo Freundlich, New Jersey, (sale Parke-Bernet Galleries
Inc., New York, June 6, 1951, lot 77); Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia (sale Parke-Bernet Galleries Inc., New York, Octobre, 5 1950, lot 89)
Publication: catalogue raisonné by Roy Brindley et Sélina Evans, London, 1998
Source: Benezit, p. 425
« It looks a wonderful example of his work in gouache », Robert Brindley, private correspondence, December 8, 1995
Born October 24, 1854 in Saint-Cloud, Gaston La Touche soon developed a passion for painting. At 10, he undertook drawing lessons with a so-called Mr Paul.
His artistic formation was lead to an end by the Franco-Prussian War, which caused the departure of his whole family to Normandy. Curious of anything, he
pursued his discovery of the surrounding world by sketching the rural houses, the games hunted by his uncle and the streets of Champsecret.
During all his life, he remains solitary, having not master, no group, and this despite his friendships with some of hos well-known contemporaries: Zola, Degas
and, above all, Manet, whose influence is noticeable in our “Souvenir d’Espagne”.
Among the spectators gathered in the arena where a bull is on the point to pass away, an Iberian lady wearing a veil and holding a basket of fruits is looking
at us. Following the example of Degas in the “Orchestre de l’Opéra” (Musée d’Orsay, 1870), La Touche focuses on the reverse shot, rather than on the main
scenes. Indeed, it is the “ushurette”, the one to whom the spectator usually do not pay attention. The arena recall the “Ring” by Pissarro (Musée d’Orsay,
1891); the general atmosphere, the hispanisant vein and the manner, at last, conjure up several paintings by Manet, such as “Lola de Valence” and the “Dead
Appreciated by his contemporaries, La Touche’s work does illustrate postimpressionism wave and is exhibited in many museums, such as the Musée d’Orsay.
76x53.5cm – 30x21’’