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  • LOUIS-AUGUSTE LAPITO (1803-1874)


    Signed l.l. A Lapito, signed to stretcher Lapito

    Oil on canvas

    63 x 92 cm



    Private collection, Germany;

    Private collection, Yorkshire, U.K.





    Louis-Auguste Lapito was born in Joinville-le-Pont, then just outside the boundaries of Paris, and began his artistic career with an apprenticeship in the studio of Louis Watelet within the city. Watelet was a prolific, though eventually unfashionably Romantic landscape artist, and it is likely during this period that Lapito settled on the genre that he would devote himself to for the rest of his life. After some time with Watelet, Lapito joined the studio of François Heim, a successful and highly-respected painter of historical scenes and portraits. Having completed his training in c.1824, Lapito began an extended tour of Europe that saw him visit the South of his native France, Switzerland, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands and, a year after his return to Paris in 1826, the Island of Corsica. 


    Lapito, like his teachers, exhibited his work at the Paris Salon regularly until just a few years before his death. He made his debut in 1827, and won a 2nd class medal in 1833, before winning a 1st class medal in 1835. King Louis-Philippe purchased a number of his works to decorate the apartments of the Royal Palaces, with three sent to the Chateau de Saint-Cloud (and installed in the apartments of Queen Marie-Amelie, the Prince of Joinville and Princess Adelaide) and two sent to the Chateau de Compiegne to decorate the Duchess of Orleans’ apartments. Like his second teacher Heim, Lapito was ma named a Chevalier of the Légion d'honneur in 1836, and then a Chevalier of the Order of Leopold later on. 



    Lapito was one of the last truly 'historical' landscape painters, the most famous of which had pioneered the genre in the final decades of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. However, his carefully arranged, idealised compositions have their severity tempered by the Romantic light that suffuses them, and he was absolutely not immune to the practice of painting naturalistic studies en plein air as many of his peers did. 

    • NOTES

      (i) See image 3 for a depiction of the Convent, destroyed in the late 19th century.  It can also be seen in the distance of a sketch by Thomas Jones, now in the Tate collection (T03367), along a rural route which Jones had a particular affinity for. 

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