French, 1863 - 1942
Oil on canvas, signed
22 x 18 in.
This closely detailed image of a pretty young girl holding a lorgnette, is typical of the sentimental figure paintings painted by Lavergne at the end of the nineteenth century. He was born in Paris in 1863 and displayed a precocious talent in the arts. As a young man he enrolled at the atelier of Henri Levy to study oil painting. From here he moved on to the studio of one of the greatest genre painters in France, that of Jules Lefebvre. It was Lefebvre that was to have the greatest influence on the young artist and who persuade him to become a painter of portraits and elegant figure subjects. Looking to further his education he spent a brief spell at the Academie Julian before completing his studies in Rome.
Whilst in Rome he obtained a medal in 1892 for his exhibit in the Prix de Rome. Returning to France he commenced exhibiting at the Salon des Artistes Francais from 1898 and over the ensuing years would win numerous medals and prizes. In 1910 he was bestowed with the Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur, the highest award given by the French government for services to the arts.