Moreau

Louis Gabriel MOREAU called Moreau l’Aîné (1740 Paris - 1805 Paris)  « Landscape with a Bridge and Peasants »

Louis Gabriel MOREAU
called Moreau l’Aîné
(1740 Paris - 1805 Paris)

« Landscape with a Bridge and Peasants »

64 x76,5 cm.
25 x 30 in.

Louis-Gabriel Moreau was one of the leading Parisian landscape artists of the second half of the eighteenth century. Today the freshness, directness, and sincerity of his work is recognized as looking ahead to the naturalism of Corot.

He is called Moreau the Elder, to distinguish him from his brother Jean-Michel Moreau (1741- 1814). Moreau began his apprenticeship under the architectural painter Pierre-Antoine Demachy from whom he acquired the traditional taste for landscapes decorated with classical elements, but more importantly the custom of painting views of Paris and the surrounding environs. Undoubtedly caught up by the pervasive romanticism of the period, Moreau reinvented these scenes with a heightened sensitivity to nature’s nuances. Nature had come to be regarded as a haven for sensual and spiritual pleasure. Fields, woods and streams or the neglected areas of parks, dotted with fountains and fragments of the antique recalling a now lost golden age, became the embodiment of the desired escape from everyday reality. These types of works captured the public’s imagination and it was exactly the kind of visions at which Moreau excelled.
The artist exhibited for the first time at L’Exposition de la Jeunesse in 1761. In 1764 he joined the Académie de Saint-Luc, exhibiting architectural landscapes and quickly rose to the position of officer in the Academy. In 1770 he married Marie-Catherine Villemont. In 1774 he again showed at the Académie de Saint-Luc and in 1778 at the Salon de la Correspondence. Moreau was named painter to the Comte d’Artois, the younger brother of Louis XVI. He tried in vain in 1787 and 1788 to gain admission to the Académie Royale, but landscape painters were routinely disallowed and further barred from participation in the Salons. The Revolution put an end to this practice and Moreau exhibited at the Salons of 1791, 1793, 1795, 1796 and 1799, with his final showing in 1804.

The oeuvre in oil is small, the artist worked generally in gouache.

Louis Gabriel MOREAU called Moreau l’Aîné (1740 Paris - 1805 Paris)  « Landscape with a Bridge and Peasants »