Achille Laugé was born in Arzens, in the Aude region of France. He was the son of well-to-do farmers who moved to Cailhau, near Carcassonne, where he spent most of his life.
Laugé began his studies in Toulouse in 1878 before moving to Paris in 1881. At the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, he studied with Alexandre Cabanel and Jean-Paul Laurens. While at the École, Antoine Bourdelle, whom Laugé had known in Toulouse, introduced him to Aristide Maillol, and the three maintained a long and fruitful friendship. During Laugé’s time in Paris, he became a follower of Neo-Impressionism.
In 1888, after seven years in Paris, including a term of military service, Laugé returned to the south and established himself at Carcassonne. Finally, in 1895, he returned to Cailhau, where he spent the rest of his life.
It was after his departure from Paris that Laugé developed his divisionist technique, following the lead ofSeurat and the Pointillists. The technique consists in juxtaposing small strokes of primary color on the canvas in such a way that the “optical mix,” traditionally created by mixing colors on the palette, is achieved instead by the operation of the viewer’s eye at a certain distance from the painting. Although Laugé never adoptedSeurat’s scientific attitude, his interest in the primacy and division of color resulted in work with a vivid, translucent palette.
From 1888 until about 1896, Laugé composed his pictures with small points of color. At the end of the century he abandoned the dots and dabs and painted his landscapes, portraits, and still lifes with thin, systematically placed strokes resembling crosshatching. After 1905 he applied his pigments more freely, with enlarged strokes and thick impasto that brought him closer to a traditional impressionist technique, whilst maintaining his ability to paint the translucence of southern light.
Achille Astre, 1907
Alvin Beaumont, Paris, 1911
Nunès et Fiquet, Paris, 1919
Bernheim-Jeune, Paris, 1923
Georges Petit, Paris, 1927
Galerie de la Renaissance, 1929
René Zevy, 1930
Musée de Limoux, 1958
Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, 1961 (with Bourdelle and Maillol)Marcel Flavin, 1966
Kaplan Gallery, London, 1966
Hammer Galleries, New York, 1967
"Achille Lauge, le point, la ligne, la lumiere", Le Musée des Beaux-Arts de Carcassonne;Le Musée Petiet de Limoux;
Le Musée de la Chartreuse de Douai, 2009-2010
Musée de Carcassonne
Musée de Grenoble
Indianapolis Museum of Art, The Holliday Collection, Indiana Limoux, Musée Petiet
Montauban, Musée Ingres Montpellier, Musée Fabre
Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne Perpignan, Musée Hyacinthe Rigaud Toulouse, Musée des Augustins