Gustave Loiseau had a passion for the seasons. He would often paint the same setting during different times of year to capture change. Every individual work showcased the beauty of both the landscape and the season. This painting, “La Seine a Rouen”, is a wonderful example of a subject he painted in different seasons. It is a peaceful setting, full of soft colors to represent the light. Other works of this setting have stronger colors. What makes this painting truly stand out is the wonderful texture of the brushstrokes. It is very gestural and slighter softer and loose then Loiseau’s signature en treillis or cross-hatching technique. This gives the overall work an idyllic and soft quality. Created in 1927, it is from the mature period of his career and is a classic Loiseau subject. To see details of this paintings, click the painting. From there you can hover your mouse over sections to see the brush strokes.
Loiseau was born in Paris in 1865 to a family of butchers. As a young man he apprenticed to a decorator. Frustrated by the unsatisfying work, he informed his parents that his true passion was painting. In 1887 he received an inheritance from his grandmother which enabled him to pursue his dream. He left home for art school.
Studying at Ecole des Arts Decoratifs was a dissatisfying experience. Loiseau dropped out and found tutelage with Fernand Quignon, a fellow landscape artist. While Loiseau enjoyed Quignon’s work, he disagreed with him on method. Quignon was a studio painter and Loiseau preferred painting outdoors. For Loiseau, painting directly in front of his subject made the most sense logically and artistically. Due to this, Quignon encouraged Loiseau to travel.
This proved to be the best solution for Gustave Loiseau. Traveling the French countryside led to more recognition within the art world and development of his artistic voice. It was while in the countryside that he experimented with methods such as Pointillism and developed his cross-hatch style.
During his travels, Gustave Loiseau met like-minded artists and fellow Impressionists. His new friends encouraged him to exhibit at shows and introduced him to famous art collector and friend of Monet, Francois Depeaux. This helped draw the attention that he needed from the art community.
Upon his return to Paris, Gustave Loiseau networked further with fellow Impressionists. He also matured further as an artist. Many critics consider the 1910s to be the height of his artistic ability. Loiseau lived and worked in a studio overlooking the sights of Paris until his death in 1935.