Galien-Laloue "La Madeleine" Gouache
I brought a painting that I inherited from my grandparents. I'm not sure what type of painting it is. I believe it's a watercolor. And it looks like it may be French by the name of the artist. I can pronounce the name, "Galien-Laloue," and it does sound French, but other than that, that's about all I know. I remember as a little girl, they had it hanging up in their bedroom, and I think I was more fascinated by the actual frame and the gold of the frame more so than the painting itself. I was very fortunate to inherit it. I've just grown to love the actual painting now and less so the frame, and it's hanging in our dining room now and my husband and I enjoy it.
Well, it is a painting on paper by a French artist named Eugene Galien-Laloue. So you have the name right. (laughs) It's actually a gouache on paper. That's the medium. And we know that because when you look in these white areas where you have the snow, it's very opaque, much more opaque than a watercolor would be. He did work in watercolor, and some of the under painting-- for example, this building-- could be watercolor underneath. He was born in Paris and mostly worked in Paris. He was born in the 1850s. Now, he did not date this painting, but my guess is that it most likely is from the early 1900s.
And I'm saying that because he was painting mostly during the Belle …poque period in France, which was the golden era. He painted kind of the prosperity and hustling, bustling of the Parisian streets. And this painting is particularly interesting because it's a winter scene, yet it's a flower market. So you've got that kind of brightness amongst what could be a rather gloomy day. We can also date it to the early 1900s because we know in 1914, he was hired by France to be a war artist. So he then was involved with the war and was not painting these scenes during that time. Do you have any idea of the value of this piece? Have you had it appraised, or...?
Never had it appraised. You know, you do some Internet searches, and to be honest with you, I don't even know if it's a real painting. It could be anything.
It is a real painting, and they do come up for auction regularly. If we were to estimate this at auction today, we would estimate it at $10,000 to $15,000.
Yay, thank you! What a treasure!
"This viewer makes an interesting point about the clothing. While it is nearly impossible to specifically date paintings that aren’t dated by the artist, there are always clues we look for. Galien-Laloue was very interested in the architecture of Paris. He made it the focus of his life’s work and repeated the same architectural subjects over and over. The architecture was much more important to him than the people in his paintings. We see the subject of La Madeleine repeated over and over. The way La Madeleine is portrayed in this image is consistent with his pre-1914 depictions. My guess is that the image was conceived pre-1914 and could have been finished at a later date. It is certainly possible that the figures were rendered post-WW1, given the way they are dressed.
If this is a slightly later work and completed post-WW1, it would not change the value. The most important factors in valuing a work by this artist are the size, medium and most importantly, the subject. Collectors love the subject of La Madeleine and even more so an example with snow and flower market. These are the most important factors in determining value here."
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