Maureau, Louis-Alphonse

 

 

Impressionism: partaker of the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition

Alphonse Maureau

1830ca – 1883ca
or 1840ca – 1880/04/10

A forgotten Impressionist,  painting like Monet

Alphonse Maureau partaker of the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877:
Alphonse Maureau only joined the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877, where he showed 6 works (catalogue numbers 86-89; R2,p205;R90I,p119), number 88 contained 3 small paintings (R90I,p173;R2,p220), something that is overlooked by other sources (R9). He than lived at 8, Rue Coustou (see map) and was called ‘Maureau (Alphonse)’. In some reviews his name is written wrongly as: Moureau (R90I,p148). The works he showed were:

3IE-1877-86, La place Pigalle
(See map, see street view.) La place Pigalle was close to Maureau’s home at 8, Rue Coustou. Ernest Fillonneau (1877/04/20) reviewed ‘Mr. Maureau, with his view of the Place Pigalle, gives us absolutely the effect of a wise man.’ (R90I,p146). La Petite Republique française (1877/04/10) reviewed ‘Mr. Maureau exhibits beautiful studies with an excellent drawing, solid, fresh and bright, among others: La place Pigalle, which promise a true painter.’ (R90I,p176). Ph. M. (1877/05/01 mentioned the title when he sums up ’the canvases where we found serious qualities’ (R90I,p164). Some reviews only mentioned the title: Gazette de France (1877/04/07), Paul Sebillot (1877/04/07) (R90I,p148+190). 

3IE-1877-87, Bords de la Seine
(Eng.: Banks of the Seine.) Charles Bigot wrote in  ‘La Revue Politique et Littéraire (1877/04/28) ‘There is a certain strength and a real sense of colour in one or two of Mr Maureau’s small sketches (Nos 87 and 88).’ (R90I,p134;R2,p220), which would suggest this work also was small. Léon de Lora (1877/04/10) reviewed ‘his waters are shimmering and transparent.’ (R90I,p163)

3IE-1877-88, Bords de la Seine
Moffett writes that according to O’Squarr, an art-critic writing in ‘Le Courrier de France’ (1877/04/06), Maureau’s entry no. 88 consisted of three small panels (R2,p220): ‘M. Alphonse Maureau has some good views of the banks of the Seine, notably the three small panels inscribed under number 88.’ (R90I,p173).
Moffett (R2,p220+205), Berson (R90II,p87) suggest a work that is now in Florence, as an option for no. 87 or 88. Walther (R3,p289) and Adler (R89,no31) also render this picture  render. Walther comments, his ‘very area conscious proportioned small study, shows him as a skilful painterly associate of Monet.’ (R3,p199). It was later bought by Diego Martelli (aR7;R88). Another option can be ‘The Seine at Neuilly’ (see above). 

3IE-1877-89, Animaux
(Eng.: Animals.) Léon de Lora (1877/04/10) reviewed ‘M. Maureau’s Breton cows stand out against the bright greenery,’ (R90I,p163). So, this catalogue number represented one painting. Compare also: Pau1878-238, Animaux dans l’Ile de St.-Denis.

More general reviews were:
Roger Ballu (1877/04/14+23) reviewed ‘Mr. Maureau, whose four sketches are excellent, of a fine blonde colour.’ (R90I,p126)
Paul Mantz (1877/04/22): ‘M. Alphonse Maureau exhibits, in small dimensions, pleasant studies painted from nature. La Place Pigalle, les Bords de la Seine are the works of an artist, still inexperienced, but whose eyesight is sound and who has a fine feeling for varied and powerful colours.’ (R90I,p167). 
So there were 10 reviews, all (very) short and all talk of studies and are quite positive, especially about his use of colour. Other positive characteristics they gave, were: solid, fresh, luminous, a fine sense of variety, powerful. One called him ‘still inexperienced’. (R90I;R2,p220). See link for info on the art-critics.

 

Louis-Alphonse Maureau only exhibited one time at the Salon in 1876:
In 1876, so in the year before he joined the ‘impressionists’, Louis-Alphonse Maureau exhibited one work at the Salon:

S1876-1425, ‘Le boulevard de Clichy; effet de matin.

The Salon database notes that he was born in New Orleans and now lived at the ‘Rue Coustou, 8, Montmartre’ (Paris; the same adres as in 1877, see above). The work was owned by ‘le Comte de Couronnel’ (iR1). The Boulevard de Clichy lies near to his house (see map). The subtitle (in English) ‘effect of morning’ suggests an ‘impressionistic’ way of painting.
This was the only time Maureau exhibited at the Salon. It is not clear if he did submit more often and was rejected.
In 1896 there was a Charles Maureau-Vauthier, who lived at 226, Boulevard Raspail in Paris and who exhibited at the Salon de la Rose-Croix (iR1).

 

 

What is known about the unknown Louis-Alphonse Maureau?
Several sources write that Alphonse Maureau was a friend of Degas, Manet and Desboutin and that he often joined the meetings in Café de la Nouvelle-Athènes (R3;R9;R88;R1,p178). Here Manet did portray him in 1878/79 (aR5;R3,p178 see above). 1884/01/15 Gaston Latouche refers to this picture in the Journal des Arts, miswriting ‘Morot’ (R88). It was Degas who invited him to join the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877 (R88;R102,p275;R9;R3). In september 1877 Maureau would go with Degas to Fontainebleau, but he had to cancel it because of an attack of arthritis (aR6). Maureau also was befriended with Nina de Callias, the musician Cabaner and the art-critic Duranty (R3;R88;R9). Spiess (R16,p211) only affirms that Degas invited Maureau for the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition. Further more he only writes that Alphonse Maureau was hardly known and disappeared out of sight, something Monneret also mentions (R88). But this is to be questioned, since he stayed living in Paris, see below. Caillebotte in a letter (1881/01/24) sums ‘Moreau’ (sic) up as invited by Degas and as one of the fighters for the Realist cause (R102,p275;R1,p448), which is strange, because Maureau clearly is more an Impressionist, than a Realist.

Most sources mention that Alphonse Maureau was born around 1830 and died around 1883 (R9;iR69;iR3;aR9=iR372). Some sources mention he was born in New Orleans (iR1;aR2;iR3). Was he French or American being born in New Orleans? Some sources call him Franco-American (iR3;iR4;iR5), others French (iR11;iR13). The ULAN names ‘Maureau, A. a French painter active in the 19th century’ (iR60). Other sources leave out his dates of birth and death (R88;R3;iR11).
The French and Dutch WikiPedia site write he died 1880/04/01, citing an archive of the civil office (iR4;iR5). But this painter, who was born in New Orleans in the USA, was 40 years old, which would mean Maureau was born in 1840, what the French Wikipedia site also claims (iR4). The archive also informes he lived at the ‘boulevard de Rochechouart, 51’ (iR4;iR5; see map). An address, a bit east of the Place Pigalle, that is not confirmed by other sources. The French WikiPedia site also refers to another archive in which is stated that ‘Maureau, Alphonse’ was buried 1880/04/12 (in the cementary of Saint-Ouen in Paris) (iR4;aR10). Note: This assumed departure in 1880 contradicts an assumed active role of Maureau in two auction sales in 1881 (see below). 
There is some more information about other exhibitions Maureau joined and where he lived (see below), but that’s about it. Most of the other sources on the internet are about Maureau joining the 3rd ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1877, his work ‘Banks of the Seine’ and most of all the portrait of Manet. It’s irritating that sources (on Impressionism) more often render this portrait of Manet (who often didn’t paint in an impressionist style and didn’t join the ‘impressionist’ expositions), than rendering works of Maureau who in his painting style equals Monet, Sisley and Pissarro. I hope that in the next years there will be more works of Maureau made public.

In the newspaper the ‘New Orleans Republican’ the name ‘Alphonse Maureau’ several times appears (aR8). In 1870/04/14 as appointed by the Governor as ‘public administrator, Lafourche parish’ (which is south-west of New Orleans, see map). In 1871/06/02 there is an announcement of a verdict from 1871/05/19 that will be repeated several times in the next editions about ‘Mary B., wife of Alphonse Maureau’. It says there was ‘judgement in her favor decreeing her to be separate in property form her husband’ (aR8;iR4). In 1876/10/31, in an article about the sell of a property,  ‘Mrs. Mary B. Lock’ is called ‘wife of Alphonse Maureau’ (aR8). It is not clear if this is our impressionist painter, but let us assume it is so. Other sources tell that they married 1867/05/13 in (New) Orleans (Louisiana) (iR67;iR4) and that Mary B. Locke died 1899/05/22 (iR69). She must be born around 1847-49 and is buried in New Orleans.

Others exhibitions of Alphonse Maureau:
Maureau also did exhibit at regional exhibitions with the ‘société des amis des arts’ in Pau and Nancy both in 1878 (iR5) and at Hôtel Drouot in 1881 (iR3). Pau lies in the south of France about 50km north of the Pyrénées (see map) and Nancy lies about 50km east of Paris (see map). 

In Pau (1878/01/18 onwards) he exhibited 3 works (aR2; iR5):

Pau-1878-236, Station de fiacres sur le boulevard de Clichy
(Eng.: Station of hackney carriages on the Boulevard de Clichy.) Compare S1876-1425. Compare also the painting of Hassam (see below). Compare a work mentioned by Artnet called ‘Strassenszene mit Passanten und zwei Kutchen’ (Eng.: Street scene with people walking by and two carriages), size 46×56 and auctioned 2015/10/26 (there is no picture (iR13). 

Pau-1878-237, La Seine à Neuilly
Neuilly-sur-Seine lies at the west side of Paris (see map). There is a painting known with the same title (see painting at the top). There is an unclear signature at the bottom right depicting ‘L.A.I.M.71’. Sources indicate it was made in 1871 (iR2; iR6). If this is true, Maureau made a very impressionistic work at a time when Monet, Pissarro, Sisley and others were still busy developing an impressionistic painting style.

Pau-1878-238, Animaux dans l’Ile de St.-Denis
(Eng.: Animals in the island of St.-Denis; see map; Île-Saint-Denis is a long island in the Seine just north of Paris.) Compare with 3IE-1877-89 ‘Animaux’.

In Nancy in 1878 (from 05/25 – 07/15) he exhibited one work (aR3; iR5):

Nancy-1878-412, L’été
(Eng.: Summer).  Probably this is a painting depicting the summer, which suggests an impressionist tendency.

At the Hôtel Drouot in Paris one work of Maureau was auctioned in 1881/05/14 (aR4;iR3;R88). The auction was an initiative of Franc Lamy to support his sick friend the musician Cabaner (compare R3,p679;R9). This assumes an active role of Maureau to send in a work of his own, which would imply he didn’t die in 1880. Or it was send in by some-one else, but it was not indicated that it was a loan.:

HD-1881/05/14, no.23, Bords du Loing, à Moret
(Eng.: Banks of the Loing at Moret; Moret lies about 60km south-east of Paris, see map). Note that Sisley lived in the surroundings of Moret since 1879. Were they befriended? Do writings of Sisley refer to Maureau?

Some sources also write about sending in a work for the sale in 1881 for the benefit of the widow of Duranty, who had died in 1880 (R88;R9):

HD-1881/01/28+29, no.?, Bateau-Lavoir
Eng.: Laundry boat. It was sold for only 9 francs (R88)

 

Where did Alphonse Maureau live?
Maureau was born in New-Orleans, USA (iR1;aR2;iR3). Askart mentions he was active / lived in Louisiana (iR41). Note: New-Orleans lies in the state Louisiana. In publications of the ‘New Orleans Republican’ of 1870 and 1871 there are announcements concerning ‘Alphonse Maureau’ (aR8). I assume this is the same person as our impressionist painter. Did Maureau shortly afterwards move to Paris? Or did he meet Degas in New Orleans, when he was visiting his family from 1872/10 until 1873/04 (R26,p12)? In 1876 and 1877 Maureau lived in Montmartre at the Rue Coustou, 8 (iR1; R2,p205). In January 1878 when exhibiting in Pau he lived at the ‘Passage de l’Elysée des Beaux-Arts, 39’ (aR2; maybe this is now the Rue de l’Elysée, see map). Later that year in May when he  exhibited in Nancy he lived at the Rue Durantin, 1, Paris (aR3; this is a bit north of the Rue Coustou, see map). According to a Dutch Wikipedia site he died in 1880, while he lived at the Boulevard de Rochechouart, 51 (iR5). This would have ment he lived at 3 different adresses within 2 years.

 

Did Alphonse Maureau paint in an impressionistic style?
There are hardly works known of Maureau, so it is hard to tell something profound about his painting style. When we look at his two river views of the Seine (see above) they were surely painted in an impressionist painting style. His frequently use of indication of place and sometimes an indication of the time of day (see S1876-1425) indicates an impressionist painting style. Paul Mantz (1877/04/22) wrote about ‘studies from nature’, which indicates painting en-plein-air (R2,p220). Still, it is curious that his ‘Seine at Neuilly’ (see at the top) resembles a painting of Daubigny from 1865 (see below) and his ‘view of the port of Quimper’ resembles a painting of Boudin from 1857 (iR6; see below; Quimper lies in Brittany, see map) . Though there are also differences, especially in the last one. Did Maureau copy those works (in his studio) or was he inspired and did he make his own versions en-plein-air? Of some works it is unclear if they were made by Maureau, such as a self-portrait (see above). See also untitled works at auction sites. Looking at the titles of works exhibited, Maureau mostly painted river views, street scenes and animals. 

 

Sources:
In many sources Maureau is not mentioned at all (R4;R5;R6;R8;R17;R19;R22;R86;R94;R95;R116;R181), or not much more than as partaker of the 3th ‘impressionist’ exposition (R89,p31+43;R1,p391) or as being portrayed by Manet. Also on the internet important databases don’t render anything about Alphonse Maureau (iR19;iR23;iR24;iR26;iR127;iR195). My main sources are Moffett (1986=R2), Walther (2013=R3,679), Schurr& Cabanne (2008=R9,p517), Spiess (1992=R16,p211), Monneret (1878-81=R88I,p514), Berson (1996=R90), the Salon database (iR1) and Wikipedia (iR3; iR4; iR5). For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are Wikimedia (iR6), the-athenaeum.org (calling him Louis Maureau; iR2) and the less reliable google.images (iR10). For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. For other additional references (=aR) see below. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.

Additional references:

  1. x
  2. gallica.bnf.fr (Alphonse Maureau’s partaking in 1878 in Pau)
  3. gallica.bnf.fr (Alphonse Maureau’s partaking in 1878 in Nancy)
  4. gallica.bnf.fr (Maureau’s partaking in the 1881 auction at Drouot)
  5. web.archive.org (PDF from the Toledo museum referring to the portrait of Manet)
  6. google.books.nl (a quote from J.S. Boggs: Degas. Metropolitan, New York, 1988)
  7. polomusale.firenze.it (page referring to an exposition on impressionism in Florence from 2013/009/13 – 2014/05/01)
  8. chroniclingamerica.loc.gov (New Orleans Republic mentioning Alphonse Maureau)
  9. 1stdibs.com//LU1419098422 (beautiful picture attributed to Alphonse Maureau; for sale d.d. 2022/08/17; =iR372)
  10. archives.paris.fr (notation of the burial of a ‘Maureau, Alphonse’ 1880/04/12, departed in the 10th arrondissement of Paris, buried in the 11th Division, line 3, grave number 33)

 

Recommanded citation: “Impressionism: Alponse Maureau, a forgotten Impressionist, painting like Monet. Last modified 2024/01/28.  https://www.impressionism.nl/maureau-louis-alphonse/