AUGUSTE TOULMOUCHE PAINTINGS FOR SALE & BIOGRAPHY
Little is known about Auguste Toulmouche’s early years, although it is believed that his uncle was a sculptor and may have given the boy his first lessons in art. He was born in the Breton city of Nantes, and began studying design with Amedeo Rene Menard, a local sculptor, in 1841. Three years later, he was learning painting from a portraitist named Biron, who also taught in Nantes.
In 1846 Toulmouche moved to Paris, and at the age of 17 entered the independent studio of the Swiss painter Charles Gleyre (1806–1874). He debuted at the Paris Salon two years later in 1848, receiving an honourable mention. In 1852 he exhibited La Fille, which earned a third class medal and was acquired by Napoleon III. The following year, Empress Eugénie purchased his domestic scene The First Step.
His success at the Salon and imperial clients assured Toulmouche’s reputation. He continued to specialize in depictions of domestic scenes of mothers and children or of young women in romantic dilemmas. This type of image found a ready market with both middle class and upper class audiences, in both Europe and the United States, bringing Toulmouche professional success and acclaim.
In 1861, he won a second class medal at the annual Salon. In 1862 he married one of Claude Monet’s cousins, and was employed by Monet’s father to oversee his son’s art studies in Paris. When Monet arrived in Paris in November 1862, Toulmouche directed him immediately to Gleyre’s studio. Although Monet was unfulfilled by Gleyre’s espousing of the Academic style, it was in his atelier that Monet met Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Alfred Sisley, and Frédéric Bazille.
Toulmouche continued to have a successful career. He was made a Chevalier of the Légion d'Honneur in 1870 and earned a third class medal at the Exposition Universelle in 1878.
Getty Museum, Los Angeles, CA
Louvre Museum, Paris
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Nantes
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, NY
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA