Louis Abel-Truchet was a major French painter, etcher and lithographer of his time. He was born in Versailles in Paris and this city was to remain close to his heart throughout his life. He is well known for his paintings portraying turn of the century life in Paris. Working mainly in oils his paintings included portraits of elegant young Parisian women, landscapes of the city and scenes depicting everyday life in Paris. He particularly liked to paint the artists quarter of Monmartre.
He was a student of the well known Julian Academy in Paris and was a student of Julian Lefebvre and Benjamin Constant. Paris was not the only city he painted, he only produced some magnificent works showing other cities such as Venice, Sienna and Marseille.
He was not happy with his role as an artist being confined to the ‘mere’ portrayal of scenes and life and became involved in other areas such as the annual exhibitions in Paris. In 1908 he helped launch the ‘Salon D’Autome’.
Louis was deemed by many to be an ‘Impressionist’ due to the style of work he created, yet the wealth and variety of work he created throughout his life makes it impossible to define his role as an artist only through Impressionism. His role as a satirist of the time was also a major part of his life and this motivated him to be one of the founding members of the Society of Humorists. He has favorably been compared to the great satirists of the day such as Forain.
He was also a member of the Cornet Society. A fraternity of artists, musicians, academics and other prominent Parisians who met regularly to discuss matters of the day. The society invited artists of the group to supply illustrations which were made into postcards and menus and Louis produced a number of illustrations for them.
At the age of fifty seven he volunteered to fight in the First World War and this also became material for his art as he produced a series of lithographs depicting scenes from World War One and his own first hand experience of the war. One particularly well known lithograph is entitled ‘Stalemate at the Western Front. Defeat at Home.’ It shows an Officer being told off by a woman, who seems to be his wife. It has been said that this is a self portrait of Louis himself. Apparently some said he joined up to get away from his own domestic problems.
He commanded a section of fighting troops during the war and was awarded the Legion of Honor and La Croix de Guerre. He sadly died whilst carrying out his military service in the last few months of the war. Following his death a number of his paintings were exhibited at the Salon D’Autome in an exhibition entitled ‘Artists who died for their country’.
Paintings by Louis Abel-Truchet are sought after, paintings of Parisian life as depicted by him are particularly in demand. It is always possible of course that during the first world he produced illustrations which he gave to his fellow soldiers.
Louis Abel-Truchet was born in Versailles on December 29, 1857. He was the student of Jules Lefebvre and Benjamin Constant at the Julian Academy in Paris. Abel-Truchet specialized in painting scenes of history, genre, landscapes, and portraits. He mainly worked in oils, pastels, and also as an engraver. His landscapes were commonly of Paris, notably Monmartre; Venice; Padua; Sienna; Marseille; Monte Carlo; and Avignon. In 1891 he began to exhibit his works in various salons, notably the Salons d’Automne; the Salon des Artistes Français; and at the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, where he became a member of the society in 1910. Two of his figurative paintings were included in an exhibition of artists who had died for their country, at the Salon d’Automne in 1919.