Portrait of Madame Astre 1892
(Portrait de Madame Astre)
oil on canvas
198.0 x 133.0 cm
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Carcassonne
Gift of the artist, 1939 (939.5.685)
© Achille Laugé/ADAGP. Licensed by VISCOPY, Sydney
Born in the south of France, Achille Laugé worked in comparative isolation in Carcassonne and, after 1895, in Cailhau, to master the two hardest aspects of Divisionist painting – working in a large format, and portraiture. Laugé received moral and financial support from Achille Astre, a collector who also ran a small gallery in the Rue Laffitte, Paris, where Laugé held solo exhibitions in 1906 and 1907. Laugé's first showing of Portrait of Madame Astre, in Paris at the Salon des Indépendants in 1894, was coldly received by the critics, despite the bravura skill with which he applied thousands of individual touches of colour across the vast surface of this composition.