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Raymond La Fage

Draughtsman, engraver, etcher and commercial artist

Born
1656 in Lisle-sur-Tarn
Died
1684 in Lyon

22 Works by Raymond La Fage

Biography

After beginning as an autodidact, La Fage studied in Toulouse in the atelier of Jean Pierre Rivalz, who later owned a large collection of his drawings (including some of our sheets, incidentally). In 1679/80 he was in Rome, where he won a prize in drawing at the Accademia di San Luca. After his return to France, he journeyed to the Netherlands with the engraver Jan van der Bruggen. His brief, unsuccessful stays in Paris make it clear that La Fage operated completely outside the official art scene; instead, in 1683 he was commissioned to design for the city hall in Toulouse ten scenes from the city's history, which were to be produced by other artists. While on his way to Italy a second time, La Fage died in Lyon in 1684. Despite or because of the fact that he did not belong to the circle of Parisian court artists, his drawings were highly sought after by his contemporaries and at the beginning of the eighteenth century. Not only friends, for example those mentioned above, collected them; Pierre Crozat owned a considerable number, and as early as 1689 J. van der Bruggen published a collection of La Fage drawings in Paris. Pierre Jean Mariette was the first to study La Fage's work critically. His praise, "Le principal mérite de La Fage est d'avoir dessiné avec liberté et avec franchise, et de bon goût en même temps", describes how La Fage apparently stood out from the academic draughtsmen in a refreshing way. At the same time, he pointed out his weaknesses: "Il étoit borné, et jamais il ne scut composer. Ce sont de belles académies placées sans choix." This justified criticism and his dependence on precursors caused appreciation for the drawings to decline over the centuries.

Persons connected to Raymond La Fage