Coastal Cliffs, Brittany

Andrée LAVIELLE (Paris, 1887 - Paris, 1960)

Biography



The granddaughter and daughter, respectively, of the landscape painters Eugène Lavieille – a friend and pupil of Corot and a member of the Barbizon group - and Adrien Lavieille, Andrée Lavieille also counted printmakers, painters and sculptors among her extended family. In 1908 she entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, training in the studio of Ferdinand Humbert. (An early painting by Lavieille, a view of the interior of the Ecole des Beaux-Arts painted in 1910, is today in the Musée Carnavalet in Paris.) She spent a number of summers at the home of the artist Auguste Lepère, a friend of her parents, at Saint-Jean-de-Monts in the Vendée, and from him learned the rudiments of etching. In 1911 Lavieille exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français for the first time, showing a still life of apples, and the following year exhibited a painting of the interior of a church. Upon her marriage in 1912, she settled in Vendôme, southwest of Paris on the banks of the river Loir, where her husband was employed as a teacher. In 1924 the couple settled in Paris, with Lavieille raising three children while continuing to paint and draw, sending works to the annual Salons des Artistes Français until 1939. The subject matter of her exhibited paintings remained broad, with still lives, church interiors and Breton landscapes predominating.

As the years progressed, Lavieille began to concentrate on working in watercolours, which allowed her the greatest degree of spontaneity and freedom, at the expense of oil painting. Trips to the French Alps in 1931, to Italy in 1935 and 1936, and to the Pyrenées in 1943 provided more subject matter for her landscape watercolours. Following the Second World War, Lavieille exhibited a handful of works at the Salons de la Marine in 1945 and 1946. Around this time, however, she began to develop Parkinson’s disease, affecting the use of her right hand and reducing her output considerably. Her final sketchbooks date from 1948 and 1949, and she appears to have produced almost nothing in the last decade of her life. Although she had exhibited regularly at the Salons, Lavieille does not seem to have had any gallery exhibitions in her lifetime, and as such her work remains little known today.