Born in Paris on 11th December 1854, Eugène Galien-Laloue studied under his father Charles Laloue, a set designer. His debut at the Paris Salon was in 1877 with oil entitled “en Normandie” at which time he was living in Montmartre. Known almost exclusively as a painter in gouache of Parisian street scenes, Galien Laloue’s early works reflect his traditional training. He painted landscapes, coastal and river scenes in Normandy and around Paris, the Seine and the River Marne. In contrast to his later works, these show a broad technique with significant use of impasto.
It was at the turn of the century that Galien-Laloue commenced his detailed gouaches depicting Paris and Parisian life. During the Great War he painted scenes in the ruined towns behind the front line and continued to depict Paris in wartime. He turned to pastel and gouache in the late 1880’s, exhibiting each in 1886 and in 1889, two gouaches at the Paris Salon. It is, however, as a supreme draughtsman painting street scenes in Paris, that he is renowned. With an eye for detail and colour he records Parisian life with its trams, omnibuses, flower stalls and newsstands, but above all, the architecture of the city itself and its inhabitants.