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Biographie Eugène Galien-Laloue

Eugene GALIEN LALOUE, his life

Par N. Willer (Catalogue raisonné, Le Triomphe de PARIS)


There are somme painters who are easier than others to define.
Eugène Galien Laloueis particulary difficult in this regard. I know of no other artist who worked under so many pseudonyms.
Even major reference books like the “Benezit” show his pseudonyms as if they were different artists.

Eugène Galien Laloue contributed to this confusion himself, covering his tracks well, perhaps because he had an exclusive contract with a major gallery.
After long and tedious research into various administrative and civil records, regional and national archives, museums, salons and exhibitions catalogues we can today confirm that J. Lievin, E. Galiany and L. Dupuy are all pseudonyms used by Eugène Galien Laloue.
We may have used upon occasion other names, as well.

Eugene Galien-Laloue
Click Image to Enlarge

The most likely origin for the name Lievin was Galien Laloue’s friendship during the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 with a soldier named Jacques who came from the town of Lieven.

It was in honor of this man that Galien Laloue seems to have adopted the name.
“Lievin, élève de Pelouse”, listed separately in Benezit, seems to be a pure invention or perhaps an error.
The subjects, the style, the colors, as well as the works that were kept by the family of Galien Laloue are sufficient proof of the veracity if this pseudonym.

As for L. Galiany, it is now certain that Galien Laloue simply Italianized his name.
Numerous articles and references list “Galiany, Italian painer of landscapes and seascapes, end of another painter.

Finally there is L. Dupuy. It is known that Eugène Galien Laloue often worked in the style of Barbizon, a village that produced many painters. Dupuy Leon was actually a real person who lived in this area. A friend of Charles Jacques, he did not make a career for himself as an artist. He would have been 78 years old when Galien Laloue attained the age of 20. The two shared a taste for painting country and farm scenes in Samois or at Moret sur Loing. Eugène Galien Laloue and Leon Dupuy both lived at Fontainebleau. Perhaps Galien Laloue wanted to make know the name of Dupuy, to give his unknown friend a second chance, a second life in the art world.

This is yet another secret that the artist has taken to his grave.
There are also mysteries about his name itself. He signed “Galien” with one “L”, but there are two “L”s in many of his official papers.

Was Galien his first name or his family name?

In fact, on his birth certificate in the city hall of Montmartre, Gallien (with two”L”s)is listed as his second name, though it is known that Galien Laloue’s father was Charles Laloue, a set designer. Surprisingly, many reference books of the time list Charles Laloue as the artist’s uncle.

When his father died, Eugène Gallien Laloue- the oldest of nine children- was only 16 years old. His mother found a job at a notary and he had to leave school.
Eugène left this job, faked his age and enlisted in the army.

Eugene Galien-Laloue and  his works
Gouache de Charles Laloue datée de 1859

By the time he had returned home from the Prussian war, his decision was made.

All he wanted was to paint, and that is what he dedicated himself to.

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