Eugène Galien-Laloue, 1854-1941, FRENCH
L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE
Gouache and watercolour over pencil on paper
18.5 by 30cm., 7¼ by 11¾in.
The Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile is one of the most famous monuments in Paris, standing at the western end of the Champs-Élysées at the center of Place Charles de Gaulle, formerly named Place de l’Étoile — the étoile or “star” of the juncture formed by its twelve radiating avenues.
Inspired by the Roman Arch of Titus, the Arc de Triomphe has an overall height of 50 metres (164 ft), width of 45 m (148 ft), and depth of 22 m (72 ft), while its large vault is 29.19 m (95.8 ft) high and 14.62 m (48.0 ft) wide. The smaller transverse vaults are 18.68 m (61.3 ft) high and 8.44 m (27.7 ft) wide. Three weeks after the Paris victory parade in 1919 (marking the end of hostilities in World War I), Charles Godefroy flew his Nieuport biplane under the arch’s primary vault, with the event captured on newsreel.
Paris’s Arc de Triomphe was the tallest triumphal arch until the completion of the Monumento a la Revolución in Mexico City in 1938. More on L’Arc de Triomphe
Eugène Galien-Laloue (1854–1941) was a French artist of French-Italian parents and was born in Paris on December 11, 1854. He was a populariser of street scenes, usually painted in autumn or winter. His paintings of the early 1900s accurately represent the era in which he lived: a happy, bustling Paris, la Belle Époque, with horse-drawn carriages, trolley cars and its first omnibuses. Galien-Laloue’s works are valued not only for their contribution to 20th-century art, but for the actual history, which they document. His work can be seen at the Musée des Beaux-Arts, Louvier; Musée des Beaux-Arts, La Rochelle; Mulhouse, France.
A typical Galien-Laloue painting depicts sidewalks and avenues crowded with people or tourists mingling before the capital’s monuments. He also painted the landscapes of Normandy and Seine-et-Marne, as well as military scenes he was commissioned to produce in 1914. The Republic of France selected Galien-Laloue to work as a ‘war artist,’ both during the Franco-Prussian War and World War I, chiefly in watercolor. More on Eugène Galien-Laloue
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