ALBERT LORIEUX (born 1862) Biography
SYMBOLISM (founded 1886) Biography

Solitude (France, c.1898)

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Oil on canvas
Signed A Lorieux,inscribed on the stretcher Solitude and Salon 1898


100.00cm high
80.50cm wide
(31.69 inches wide)
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Exhibition History

Paris, Salon des Artistes Français, 1898
The Lightbox, Woking, Visionary Victorians: British & European Painting 1850 – 1900, 9th May - 5th July 2009

Description / Expertise

In a climate of anxiety, which followed the political unrest of 1870, the ‘age of decadence’ created a deeper impression in France than elsewhere. The young Belgian poet Verhaeren, in a letter to Odilon Redon, wrote: I struggle against myself because I am barred form all other forms of heroism. I love all those things, which are absurd, useless, impossible, mad, excessive, intense, because I feel them like needles inside me.(1)

Like Redon, Albert Lorieux has painted Solitude with the intense spirituality of the symbolist era. For artists and writers, Symbolism became the language of dreams. In Solitude there is a contemplative mysticism within the timeless and calm serenity where only the softly falling leaves interrupt the meditative stillness of the place.

Born in Paris, Lorieux was a pupil of Gaston la Touche. He exhibited at the Salon des Artistes Français, where he won a medal in 1909.

Les sanglots longs
Des violins.
De l’automne
Blessent mon Coeur
D’une langueur

Toute suffoquant
Et blême quand
Sonne l’heure
Je me souviens
Des jours anciens
Et je pleure

Et je m’en vais
Au vent mauvais
Qui m’emporte
Dèça delà
A la feuille morte

Paul Verlaine Chanson d’automne 1866

The long wailing of violins in autumn wounds my
heart with monotonous languor.
Pale and suffocating when the hour strikes,
I remember the days of old and I weep
And I abandon myself to the ill-fated wind which
Carries me away hither and thither like a dead leaf.

1. Quoted in Philippe Jullian, French Symbolist Painters, Arts Council of Great Britain, 1972, page 8