Master of the pyrotechnics of color, enamoured of all the prisms of light, ever seeking after the sumptuous decorations of the eighteenth century and the evocations of fêtes galantes of reigns gone by; curious, moreover, as to all the arts of painting, Gaston La Touche of course could not fail to be attracted by the delicacies and the subleties of the pastel'... so..wrote Octave Uzanne in the opening paragraph of his essay in The Studio (vol. XXXI, May 1904).
In this pastel, La Touche has used a Tissot-esque composition, for he must have been aware of his work, of placing the subject behind a screen of large marronier leaves through which sunlight filters onto rippling water. Swans, that symbolise fidelity, glide around a punt in which a lady in white sits lost in thought. The whole atmosphere is one of gentle tranquillity - the artist was extremely happy in his marriage and the tenderness of this work attest to it.
We are grateful to Roy Brindley for preparing this catalogue entry.
Roy Brindley & Selina Evans will include this work in their forthcoming La Touche catalogue raisonné.