Born in Rennes in 1870 into a wealthy family from Normandy, Abel Lauvray would become a painter within the post-impressionism movement. In 1880 Claude Monet purchased a house next door to his family home in which Vétheuil was to change Lauvray’s life. At this time, Monet was enduring hard times and it was the Lauvray family that helped him financially during this difficult period. Abel, studied law but on Monet’s suggestion took up painting and attended Fernand Cormon’s teaching atelier in Paris. He quickly became a close friend of Monet’s and when Monet returned to Vétheuil in 1893, he accompanied him on a painting trip on the Seine in Monet’s houseboat, which he would later hand over to him. Painting in a style clearly influenced by his mentor, Lauvray produced about 1,500 paintings during the 60 years of his career. One-third of these canvases were destroyed during a fire at his workshop in Mantes-la-Jolie at the time of the events related to the French Liberation during World War II. Lauvray excelled at restoring the soft lights of the surrounding landscapes, which he represented with great delicacy. While most of his work paints the banks of the Seine from Vétheuil to Mantes-la-Jolie, he also illustrates his frequent painting trips to Touraine and Villeneuve-lès-Avignon, as well as his travels in Normandy, Antibes, Venice and Greece. His work was notably revealed to the public during his first posthumous exhibitions in 1963, then during the exhibition organized in 1970 at the Yves Jaubert gallery in Paris for the centenary of his death. Abel Lauvray died in Vétheuil on 19 December 1950.
Lit; E. Benezit Catalogue raisonné du peintre Abel Lauvray, 1870-1950, Yves & Lionel Jaubert