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                   Copyright © 2014 | By John Tsipas. 

Paris – Eugene Galien Laloue

Eugene Galien Laloue
(1854 – 1941)
Paris à la Belle Époque
Some artists or writers are content to have a pseudonym so as to disguise their work. Eugène Galien Laloue was particularly adept at establishing several identities, since over the course of his career he worked under three pseudonyms: J. Lievin – after a soldier he met during the Franco-Prussian war, E. Galiany – an Italianized version of his own names, and L. Dupuy – after Dupuy Léon who lived in his same area. While these are three confirmed names that he used, there is the possibility that he used other names as well. Even his name “Galien” is questionable, since on occasion he spelled it with one “l” and on his birth certificate it is spelled “Gallien”. Why the artist went to such great lengths to perplex audiences and historians is the question that remains to be answered. Despite preoccupation with the reclusive nature of this man, he depicted Paris and the surrounding landscape with his cool palette; in doing so he became another recorder of popular Parisian life. He balanced his architectural interest in Paris with several landscape views and was an equally if not more proficient draughtsman.
He was born on December 11, 1854 in Montmartre, the oldest of eventually nine children. His father, Charles, died when he was sixteen years old, after which point his mother, Endoxie, found him a job at the local notary. He left school to fill the position. But shortly after he felt the nationalistic urge to enlist in the military. Quitting his job and faking his name in 1871, he left for his military duty which led him through the end of the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871. By then he had decided to become a painter. For such an eager participant in the military, to turn immediately to painting must have been a reaction against the bloody events of the Franco-Prussian war; a way to forget what he had seen. In 1874 he was employed by the French Railway lines as an illustrator, depicting the rail track that was being laid from Paris to the provinces. Concurrently he began painting the surrounding landscapes as well.
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