Alfred Godchaux – The Village – Circa 1880
Alfred Godchaux (born 24 January 1839) was an accomplished French painter of landscapes, landscapes with figures, harbour scenes, seascapes and flowers. He received his formal art training at the École des Beaux Arts in Paris, student of Gustave Courbet and Régis François Gignoux. On completion of his studies, he travelled extensively through Europe spending months studying at the museums in Spain and Italy. On his return to Paris in 1860 he started showing his works at the Salon de Paris, where he received much praise.
Of his exhibited paintings, many were very beautiful Venetian scenes. He left Paris in 1875 and settled in Pau, opening a workshop on Rue Henri IV. The surrounding coastline being so beautiful, Alfred Godchaux found an abundance of subject matter for which there was an appreciative clientele. Instead of exhibiting at the Salon de Paris, he now exhibited at the Beaux Arts de Pau and records at the museum des Beaux Arts in Pau show that he exhibited paintings entitled Paysage Pyrénéen and La Promenade de Montauban à Luchon.
Godchaux’s technique and style were influenced by the Impressionists, and although very much a plein-air painter one can see how capable he was at conveying a painting full of vivacity by the varied touches of different colours on the land, sea and the clear blue of the sky.
Alfred was the father of Émile Godchaux (1860-1938), also a talented artist whose similar style and subject matter has occasionally led to confusion between the two artists and their work. Alfred Godchaux died 3 May 1907 in Reims, aged 68 years old.
Sources: Benezit, Dictionary of Artists; Pierre Delbarre, Le peintre Godchaux et ses œuvres, Poitiers, Imprimerie générale de l'Ouest, 1886; Archives de France.
Artist: Alfred Godchaux (1839-1907)
Signed in the lower left corner.
Medium: Oil on canvas.
Condition: Very good condition. Signs of past restoration.
Dimensions: 38 x 55 cm. / 15 x 21 ½ in.
Frame: 48 x 65 cm. / 19 x 25 ½ in. Gilt wood, very good condition.