Gaston La Touche (1854-1913) was a French painter. In his works he remained faithful to colorism. He dealt with topics related to Britain. He often referred to motifs taken from the art of the 18th century rococo. At the initial stage of his creativity, he was inspired by Edouard Manet. He also often met with Edgar Degas. He got to know Emile Zola, whose works he later illustrated. He was a member of the Société des Artistes Français and the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. The artist was successful. He often exhibited at Salons. He painted decorative, almost theatrical, intimate, fanciful, mythical, genre, numerous melancholic landscapes: night and autumn.
Description of the painting:
“La Touche painted many scenes taking place inside rooms with 18th century decoration and furniture, filled with the aura of rococo sensuality and hedonism”. He was a French colorist who was friends with many Impressionists. His works were characterized by a sense of humor and a unique sharpness of mind and imagination of the author. He created incredibly colorful worlds full of intrigues and passions. Captured in a temporarily stopped frame. Observed as if from a hiding place. He was interested in the salons of the nineteenth century and the struggles that took place in their interiors between the created appearances and the ruling human instincts.
The painter invites us to the interior located in the ballroom of the salon. The dominant color of the presentation is red appearing on the walls and being the color of the curtain separating the boudoir interior from the representative rooms. In the center of the composition, a green-golden sofa is placed. In the corner, on the cabinet, stands a vase with hydrangeas. The red curtain opens, revealing two figures entering the salon. A kissing woman and man. The woman is dressed in a pale pink dress decorated with a darker pin. The wide, deep neckline reveals her shoulders and breasts.
We become witnesses of an intimate meeting of two lovers. The pale pink rose lying on the carpet with the petals scattered around it, indicates that the entering couple is not the first to enjoy the charms of the secluded place. La Touche did not paint the climax of the meeting. The sofa, which is a place of intimate closeness, remains empty. The essence of the work therefore remains subtle, albeit obvious allusions, showing the sensual nature of the representatives of the French intelligentsia of the turn of the centuries, surrounded by the wall of conventions.