Semester

Spring

Date of Graduation

2019

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Type

MA

College

College of Creative Arts

Department

Art History

Committee Chair

Rhonda Reymond

Committee Member

Kristina Olson

Committee Member

Janet Snyder

Abstract

This thesis examines the landscape paintings of Jean-Louis Rouméguère (1863-1925), who was active in southwestern France in the early twentieth century. Rouméguère, who also had a brief Parisian career, was a fervently independent artist whose work nonetheless shows the varied influences of the Barbizon school, the Impressionist movement, and even classical landscape techniques. Working exclusively in the regions stretching from Auvergne to the Pyrenees, Rouméguère created atmospheric, somatically-appealing paintings that experimented with pushing small scale to an extreme. The artist’s work demonstrates his quest to capture the intense, ever-shifting light of his region while maintaining a sense of harmony and verité; ideas that culminated in his “Conférence sur une Tentative de Peinture Scientifique” presented and published in Paris in 1906, in which Rouméguère explained the key tenets of what can be described as a practical color theory. In his writing, Rouméguère revealed both the methodology that guided his work and the depth of feeling that inspired it, a combination which allowed him to strike a delicate balance between “science” and poetry in his rendering of the fields and forests of the Gersois countryside, Auvergne in the Massif Central, and especially the crags and peaks of the Pyrenees.

Today, Rouméguère is virtually unknown outside of his hometown of Auch, where over three hundred of his paintings are held in the collection of the Musée des Jacobins. Through research conducted at the museum and in regional and national archives, this thesis restores the artist’s historical reputation as a significant painter of his region who adroitly captured not only the landscape but the atmosphere of France’s southwest, illuminating by extension the rich and understudied contributions of various artists and movements of this region.

Share

COinS