The blue donkeys of Cordoba
1934 – gouache – 50 cm x 65 cm – SBD
Germaine Lacaze, whose painting is direct, luminous and colourful, exhibits gouaches of Cordoba at Yvonne Guillon’s, 22 rue de Pontoise.
12th April 1935
The small canvases have intensity and brilliance. These are city crossroads that Germaine Lacaze likes to paint in these formats. She shows her sense of life. Many of the larger canvases are devoted to portraits, nudes or figures. The attentive draughtswoman reveals herself here. The colours are nuanced and deliberately maintained in a velvety softness that reminds us of the charming gouaches that the artist presents in a neighbouring room.
17 February 1939
Germaine Lacaze : ingenious layouts, sometimes acidic tones, but most of the time with pleasant harmonies; gouaches from Paris, of a right observation and a sensitive execution.
La Semaine de Paris
26th February 1939
It is amusing to find virility in the painter exhibited at the Galerie Pellas, who is nevertheless a woman, Germaine Lacaze. The contact is immediately established with the temperament of the artist who has something to say. Her nature as a painter expresses itself in a language where, if one may speak in this way, one recognises the voice of her master Othon Friesz; nevertheless, it already has a personal accent.
Lamennais is not a writer who is often quoted when talking about painting, and yet he coined a phrase that applies equally well to art and writing: “One can never find the expression of a feeling that one does not have: the mind grimaces and so does the style.
This leads us to think that if Germaine Lacaze’s brush tells the truth, it is undoubtedly because she is sincere. We love her views of the Seine in Paris, especially the one of the “Quai des Grands Augustins” in winter, where she has captured the atmosphere of the river under the snow. Attracted by the contrast, the artist also tried to render the landscapes of Navarre and Castile, whose grandeur she translated; one feels an impression of shock which is a good omen.
Finally, Germaine Lacaze, who won the “Still Life Prize” at the Salon des Femmes-Peintres in 1950, exhibits one of her works in which there are some very nice details, although it lacks the unity that would perhaps have made it a great painting. All this suggests that this artist has the talent and perseverance that can make a successful career as a painter.
R. de CAZENAVE
Gazette de Lausanne
13th December 1950
Germaine Lacaze’s painting deserves to be known, it is an example of vigour and good taste combined, things that are rarely seen together. Germaine Lacaze draws with colour and models with light.
La Voz de Espana
7 August 1952
Showcase of the River Gallery with
“The Red Bottle” (1960 – CR 264)
Germaine Lacaze at the Galerie du Fleuve in Bordeaux, with her cousin Simone, the wife of her first cousin Rolland (1961)
Since Germaine Lacaze’s paintings have been hung in the Galerie du Fleuve, an extraordinary hymn to colour resounds under its centuries-old vaults, and the visitor, stunned, is transported by the harmonious chords that the painter has drawn from her palette. And yet Germaine Lacaze’s paintings are not easily accessible to those who want to go beyond the immediate enchantment they provide.
It is obvious that these compositions are the work of a colourist strongly influenced by Fauvism, but, to use the musical image that applies so well to her works, the science with which she orchestrates the different coloured elements that make up her paintings can only be applied through a poetic vision of nature that is the prerogative of authentic artists. This transposition of the world through the colour of light, and a thorough knowledge of the laws of painting and drawing, are the two strands that weave the Ariadne’s thread that allows us to penetrate the pictorial universe of Germaine Lacaze.
The circulation of light is at the centre of her preoccupations: between the distant areas treated in cold tones and the gleaming foregrounds, a harmony of great plenitude is created, enhanced by the explosion of forms into coloured masses.
One can guess the fiery character of this woman who devoted her life to her passion, because the two were merged. She is all there in her paintings, from the violence of her feelings which opposes the whirlwind of her thoughts, to the gentleness of the friend of nature who likes to take refuge in the calm of a sunny garden.
La France – Bordeaux
18th June 1961
Exhibition room of the works of Germaine Lacaze at the Galerie du Cimaise du Vieux Colombier (1962).
Germaine Lacaze is one of our most beautiful painters of joyful reality. Her gleaming palette is all love, all smiles, all health. The compositions (her works, whatever the subject, are compositions) sparkle with a thousand brilliant touches and yet the effect is measured, brought to life, the spectator finds himself in the presence of a very orderly spectacle. People, nature and things are in celebration. It is an invigorating and beautiful exhibition.
Monthly Le Peintre
1st June 1962
Vigour and elegance. With the help of a major, even brilliant range, drawn from a dense and shimmering substance, Lacaze interprets hilly landscapes, expressive figures and still lifes of a careful layout. This artist, with a true painter’s temperament, knows how to combine vigour and elegance in her writing, and this in an impeccable “orthography”.
6th June 1962
Germaine Lacaze with the writer Raoul Villedieu during her exhibition at the Mirage Gallery in Montpellier (1963)
Whether Germaine Lacaze exalts the ochre of a flounced dress, the red of the Arcachon fishing smack, the ochre of the Castilian soil, of the “pueblos” or of a donkey’s back bridge, whether she analyses the golden greenery of an undergrowth or makes the Venetian lanterns – symbol of popular joy – sing, she creates subtle effects of contrast, the cold or neutral tones giving full value to the warm ones. Occasionally, she even makes clever variations from a dominant colour and, effortlessly, one would say, in fact, thanks to a long patience, she manages to solve the most difficult pictorial problems.
It should be added that she uses a sumptuous material, worked on for a long time, whose detail reveals the most delicious research.
Combining vigour with an exquisite lightness of hand, she expresses her joy of living and creating, she speaks a language accessible to all, of a profound humanity, which cannot be forgotten.
La Dépêche du Midi
18th February 1963
When you enter the gallery and, in one look, take in the thirty or so canvases hanging on the walls, you get a sort of shock, so vivid is the impression of warmth, sunshine and light which emanates from these paintings. Trained by Lucien Simon, then by Othon Friesz, Germaine Lacaze is, in fact, first and foremost a colourist and she herself readily declares that she is instinctively pushed in this direction by her southern origins, her love for the South and for Spain… Germaine Lacaze is not the painter of a typical subject, but everything is material for her, in nature and in people, to express this enthusiasm for life, which seems to shine through most of her works. Her paintings are extraordinarily lively. And not only, for example, this large composition “Le 14 juillet à Villeneuve-le-Comte” where characters stand out in close-up against a very detailed background of merry-go-rounds and multicoloured lanterns, but also her landscapes, especially her Spanish landscapes, and her still lifes, even the smallest ones, such as “La théière blanche” and “Le panier de cerises”, which are absolutely charming little paintings.
Le Midi Libre
21 February 1963
Exhibition of Germaine Lacaze
at the Motte Gallery (1968)
The Galerie Motte is hosting this month a very important exhibition of the French painter Germaine Lacaze, which is excellently representative of what one feels at first sight in the presence of what must be called French art. She has from it that elegance, that clarity and above all that refined choice of colours which in Bonnard gave a magnificent demonstration of what mastery of tone can be.
Lacaze’s canvases are not only filled with a generous paste that is like the extension of a skilful gesture, but this paste is above all the receptacle of a colouring that is both subtle and sensual. She uses pinks and mauves with such certainty, she bathes her bouquets and still lifes in such a delightful atmosphere, that a painting by Lacaze represents the most delicate but at the same time the most well-balanced internal rigour, in a word, a painting which proves, if it were still necessary, that figurative art exposed in this way is not yet in decline.
Le Journal Français – Geneva
4 May 1968
Nowadays, it takes something resembling artistic sanctity to remain “in reality”, as one might say “in religion”. Germaine Lacaze has this perseverance and I, for one, want to praise her here.
I wouldn’t go so far as to say that figurative painters today are cursed painters, but it is certain that more is demanded of them than of non-figurative abstract and informal painters. It is true that making a beautiful non-figurative painting is so difficult that abstract art cannot substitute without a dizzying indulgence. So much the better if the price of this ease is a greater demand for the representation of reality.
Whether she paints landscapes, still lifes or nudes – these three major aspects of reality – Germaine Lacaze always seems to obey two concerns, which are undoubtedly complementary and, at the same time, sometimes contradictory: concern for the material and concern for the composition.
For a painter like her, matter is colour, but in painting, colour is also what we must call one of the fundamental elements of structure, despite the wear and tear of this word, and when the structure is determined by the artist’s will, it is called “composition”.
To compose with a beautiful material, so beautiful that it gives the feeling that one is touching it by looking at it, is what Germaine Lacaze seems to be looking for in order to propose to our eyes coloured echoes of the real world.
of the French Academy.
Although Parisian art critics are solicited every week by dozens of openings, as if there were more painters than painting lovers today, discoveries are still made.
How can it be that a Germaine Lacaze, currently presented by Jean Buisson in his underground gallery, is still virtually unknown? The fifty canvases they exhibit, including many large formats, do not represent a tenth of what she has accumulated in her country house over the years, painting for her own pleasure, without worrying too much about making use of it.
Portraits, landscapes, interior scenes or still lifes – the older classical ones, the latest, the more free and generously coloured ones – are by a sensitive artist who knows her craft. It is not always the best painters who show up most often.
7th April 1971
At the Galerie Saint-Placide, Germaine Lacaze once again asserts her qualities as a colourist, her taste for chromatic richness in well-balanced, solidly articulated compositions, with all the steadiness and vigorous charm.
Les nouveaux jours – 15 June 1971
Here is a beautiful exhibition of an artist who is a hundred percent painter and whose style is not the consequence of attitudes. Her compositions, still lifes and landscapes offer spectacles which delight the eye and the spirit in festival, works of a cordial beauty, where all is clean, the colour like the form. The name of Germaine Lacaze must be inscribed on the shelves of collectors.
The painter – June 15, 1971
Once again the current exhibition of Lacaze confirms her true temperament as a painter. This artist is inspired by nature of which she is the robust interpreter. A solid artist, a virtuoso colourist, she is not afraid to raise the tone. Through harmonious compositions, landscapes, still lifes, flowers and nudes, her colours shine with a brilliant luminosity. Her subject is generous, unctuous. We can admire “The blue gate”, “Artajona” (Navarre), “The red lilies”, “Under the quince tree” and many others.
Lettres Françaises – June 16, 1971
Invitation card with
“Landscape of Estella – general view” (1957 – CR 185)
Germaine Lacaze during her exhibition at the Ateliers d’Art de Saint-Maur-des-Fossés (1974)
My dear Lacaze, artist and friend, you are a painter and you have devoted your life to painting without mannerism or affectation, that is to say to the search for Beauty. You have ignored the fashions of the moment. Quite simply, you have followed your path, looking with ever enchanted eyes at the prestiges of Nature.
You persist in believing that a painting is something other than an enigma or a fussy copy of what one believes to be Reality. Your works bear witness to a double requirement: to represent things through a technique that does not deny its existence. The material is there, present, sumptuous, arranged sometimes in large flows, sometimes in small and vibrant touches in a smooth and nourished paste. The colour blooms and delights the eye. Cold and warm, transparent shadow and full light are skilfully distributed. The exalted zones are opposed to the peaceful zones in a balanced whole. Through the subtle play of the brush, you suggest things and beings that reveal themselves as if in a nascent state, in a spontaneous outpouring, adorned with the brilliance of the dawn.
Life trembles, in its light, in its summer, in its inexhaustible generosity, through your country garden and its flowers, its fruits, the children who animate it, your cousins, a whole familiar and rural world.
The image of Man has an essential place and, what strikes me, at the time of childhood, of adolescence, in the fullness of forms. Thus your work translates above all the pleasure of living. No doubt you know how to conceal, with great modesty, the uncertainties of artistic creation. But isn’t that the sign of true talent. The only things that count for you, and you offer them to us, are the signs of serenity and joy you have conquered.
Curator of the Saint-Maur Museum
To paint well, one must first know. To possess this “craft” that some people like to despise, trying to make us believe that genius (which they attribute to themselves) is sufficient for all the needs of art.
But one must also love what one paints, and know it well.
Germaine Lacaze, who knows how to paint because she cultivated her natural gifts in the professional school of the Beaux-Arts, has never deviated from this rule.
How many beautiful paintings do we not owe to her love of flowers, children and her wonderful little garden in the Brie region! It is also love that inspires her when she paints Spain, but a love that is backed up by a deep knowledge of the country, its people and its language. And something of this precious culture, constantly enriched by a fertile curiosity, can be found in the paintings she has just brought back from a trip to Mexico and Guatemala.
Visitors to the present exhibition will be the first to see this artist’s report on one of the sunniest and most colourful regions of the world.
Preface exhibition under the patronage of the Formes et Couleurs club
It is difficult to evoke the works of Germaine Lacaze, after the praise of the academician André Chamson who, evoking her beautiful painting, said “So beautiful that it gives the feeling that one touches it with the eyes”.
At the Michel Perrier gallery in Chateaurenard, we are dazzled by her works from which a thousand rays of sunlight emerge… The beach of Saint-Cyprien with its sandy bathers warms you up. The markets of Provence where the chorus of Bécaud resonate. Each canvas evokes a feeling, a memory, an impression, an intoxicating perfume and a touch of life. We are in the presence of an ordered neo-fauvism, says Guy Dornand. The feeling can be shared, but for the one who was Lucien Simon’s pupil, we find the freedom, the vigour and of course the love of colours that the master knew how to instil in his pupils.
“Bouquet of sweet peas and field flowers”
Inauguration of Germaine Lacaze’s exhibition at the Galerie Hérouet (1979).
To capture the fleeting beauty: a great moving sky over Toledo, the brightness of flowers (the table), the youth of beings (the lovers), the splendour of a woman’s body (the model with the little dog). And, through the motivating subject, to tell one’s deepest self, to translate the emotion intensely felt in tune with an acute sensitivity, to express that impulse of enthusiasm which makes one cease to be a spectator of nature, to participate in it as an inspired actor. And also to reconcile the gestural touch and the delicate rubbing, to unite light and colour in a happy marriage. This is what Germaine Lacaze’s painting is all about.
Review L’Amateur d’Art
December 1st 1979
« As a painter of colour, I look for dissonance (shadow and light) because I am very sensitive to the luminosity of things and matter.
I believe in the moment, but I think it must also be supported by study. Knowing yourself and having masters who make you work in the direction of your personality so were my beginnings and I have conformed to them.
I work with touches of colour. I don’t put colour between two black lines. Expressionist ? Perhaps, but not daring. Neo-fauvist, yes, but I don’t scream, I sing. »
Germaine Lacaze in 1980
Remarks in view of her exhibition at the Galerie Triade in Barbizon.
In this elegant gallery, Germaine Lacaze’s canvases burst forth in their abundance of colour, light and worked paste, so that each canvas gives the impression of a piece of nature.
The flowers, the fruits, the garden atmospheres give a feeling of fullness. The portraits of children are sensitive, eloquent of simplicity.
The very small formats concentrate the expression. They vibrate as much as the large canvases and are also the sign of a painter in full possession of her means.
Le Nouveau Journal
19th October 1980
“The beautiful summer”
Interior of the Kaganovitch Gallery during germaine Lacaze’s exhibition (1982)
An inner balance, an extraordinary will to work, … have allowed Germaine Lacaze to “build” a considerable amount of work, including a good thousand paintings, watercolours, drawings as well as etchings on post-war Paris, and lithographs of the Venice of a decade ago.
Pursuing her path in a happy solitude, sustained by a passion for “beautiful work” and by a philosophy of happiness that hides behind a courageous and modest smile the difficulties of life, she offers us, in this large-scale exhibition, a painting of an exceptional plastic and spiritual quality.
Germaine Lacaze presents recent paintings, Venice in a rosy light, beaches, still lifes and bouquets, other still lifes on garden tables, a Paris that is dense, snowy or undergoing a gust of wind.
She is a member of the Poetic Reality family, and was often noticed in the final votes for the Prix de la Critique.
A painter of happiness with a rare authority in the touch.
March 26th 1982
Germaine Lacaze paints with alacrity and tenderness her vision of the world, all of sensitive elegance, supported, as Donatella Micault writes, by her passion for “beautiful work”. His painting, imbued with softness, harmony and light, perfectly illustrates Baudelaire’s phrase that “colors, perfumes and sounds respond to each other”. Indeed the gaze is not alone reached : we perceive certain vibrations when listening to his paintings, we breathe, we live.
Exhibition poster :
“Model with white bathrobe”
Showcase of the Galerie Bellion in Rennes (1985)
It may have been only the difference between a brush and a pen that made the painter Germaine Lacaze dedicate herself to letters. But luckily she also loved to draw, and from the age of twelve she knew what she was going to do.
If the passion for colour and light is so evident in this exhibition that it could do without comment, I am pleased to point out that the passion for letters, which she did not deny as a reader, has left deep marks on this painter, for in most of her paintings we find characters that invite us to tell us a story about them. The canvases are in fact double paintings … because in the theatre, the scenery also designate the different scenes of an act.
Even the small formats are witnesses of this poetic reality that the artist communicates to us through warm colours, light effects and the quality of the material.
And if we go back to the source, near her native Gironde, it is, in painting, all the richness of the wines of Bordeaux, a few drops of which must have passed into her mother’s milk.
The image of happiness : Germaine Lacaze gives it to us through young women and children in a garden, skies reflected in the water, as on the Bassin d’Arcachon or in Venice : through bouquets too with flowers and leaves forming the background for her portraits.
A happy painting! Germaine Lacaze – a classically trained painter – has managed to find her own personality while revering the great masters.
Preface to the exhibition at the Marc Bellion Gallery in Rennes
Alain Poher, President of the Senate, and Germaine Lacaze at the inauguration of her exhibition at the Orangerie du Sénat (1985)
Germaine Lacaze and her friends Anne-Marie and John Hackett (1985)
Thanks to heaven, there are still gardens, and the Luxembourg garden is a testimony to this. But finally, as soon as we start talking about them as privileges…
Gardens are a source of enchantment, that is the impression we will keep from this new exhibition of Germaine Lacaze’s works, in the imposing setting of the Orangery of the Senate, already a symbol, so that many paintings are as many hanging gardens…
But there are not only gardens, there is also the city that surrounds them: Paris, Venice, and then like another immense garden, Castile, Andalusia, because Spain is geographically and literarily the second homeland of Germine Lacaze, a Hispanist at heart and in spirit…
To tell the story of Germaine Lacaze’s career… Why, because better than lines without colour in the text, her “self-portrait” sums up her vocation, her time shared between painting, studying literature, travelling, books, her first daydreamings in front of the Arcachon basin.
The discovery of theatre is also an opening to many horizons. There is perhaps only one black note: the duègne, but which becomes here an intense colour like a replica: the portrait of Madame Denise Gence, member of the Comédie-Française. Thus the light of the stage can, like the light of the sun, illuminate this painting that Germaine Lacaze wants to be happy, warm, peaceful like a garden for which it took love, time and work.
Declarations of love should be measured and weighed carefully. The same goes for choosing a painting, a most personal and individual decision. To fall in love spontaneously with Germaine Lacaze, with her gardens and her floral compositions which fascinate and overflow with luxury and voluptuousness, is obvious.
One should place oneself inside the circle of her paintings, let oneself be penetrated by the harmonious radiance of the colours, to very quickly be won over by a sort of coloured somnambulism and thus find oneself completely captivated by the woman painter and magician. … Lacaze excites … The seduction of Germaine Lacaze is called colour: a bouquet of green shades, a debauchery of pinkish pink, which in the end can be called rosé-Lacaze, then blue, red, orange, a symphony of jubilant colours, or “Eden for those who know how to see” (Maurice Tassart).
Hans Peter BUHLER
Tribute room of the Salon d’Automne 1988 to Germaine Lacaze
Germaine Lacaze congratulated by Jacques Chirac, Mayor of Paris (1988)
Comparisons, then preference, imply a judgement. It is therefore that the subject is debatable, that it should not be praised or condemned, without long discussions, accessible to all.
The same is not true of painting. If we take Germaine Lacaze’s large formats, the seduction comes immediately, overriding the judgement, because the quality is described not in an ambiguous or mannered way, but in the material and the colours.
These large formats demand from the author a discipline acquired through work and personal choices. Let us admire a precise portrait of the artist’s mother (1928), her self-portrait, then other very large and well-balanced pieces, mostly 100F, with which we walk in the Luxembourg garden, then in the Champs-Elysées, always flowery and welcoming places. We then move on to a small part of Germaine Lacaze’s Spanish activity, admiring the mantilla of the Madrid manola, the clothes and gilding of the bullfighters… Let us finish with the gouaches of Paris, which will delight the old-timers, as they will see Capoulade again, the “real” Grands Boulevards, the Ambigu Comique (1930), and then the shop windows filled with works of youth: cafés, washing places …
Let us return to the garden scenes, where we are present because we approve of what is happening: lunch, reading, sewing, because it is all alive, lived. And complicated, because nothing is presented at random, or by chance. It also becomes, for many, a distant image that the canvas reproduces. And we see there that it is not useful to call upon certain complicated, or abstract formulas to please a greater number of amateurs of good Painting for people of taste.
Tribute to Germaine Lacaze – Autumn Salon 1988
Hanging of paintings by Germaine Lacaze at the Vasquez del Rio Gallery in Arcachon
Germaine Lacaze and her friends from the Ecole de Paris are exhibited in Arcachon. Anilda Vasquez del Rio’s gallery is dedicating its space to the painters of the Ecole de Paris and especially to the work of Germaine Lacaze until next October.
The Ecole de Paris groups together many painters with very different styles and artistic approaches, but who have in common that they exhibited in official painting salons. Under this name we find people as different as Kisling, Modigliani, Foujita, Picasso, Léger…
Germaine Lacaze, the only woman exhibited in the Vasquez gallery, is also one of the rare women of this generation to have been recognised and awarded prizes in various salons …
Simply an obvious happiness to paint a graceful attitude, a scarf thrown on a garden chair, a sumptuous bouquet that lights up an embroidered tablecloth. A very lively palette. The deep greens exalt the powdery pinks, the blood red clashes with the navy blue.
24 August 1991
“Girl with bouquet, full sun”
Roland Maréchal Gallery – Bordeaux (December 1993)
Embracing colours : until December 31st, the Roland Maréchal Gallery, 5 rue Jean-Jacques Bel, offers a real vision of the masterly work of Germaine Lacaze.
No sooner have you crossed the threshold of the Galerie Roland Maréchal than you are already seized by the strength and luminescence of Germaine Lacaze’s works.
Indeed, what strikes you first in this artist’s paintings is this very particular mix of colours. Warm, almost fluorescent tones, which clash in a very rigorous construction. Then one can stop and consider the themes treated. One is thus invaded by the ardour of the Spanish landscapes or the Venetian mystery, one abandons oneself to the softness of the memories of the Arcachon basin or to the wisdom of the portraits, one succumbs to the gaiety and opulence of the bouquets or to the magic light of the still lifes.
The whole forms unities of a rare elegance where no piece of canvas, however small, appears static or insignificant. The brushstrokes are always lively, furious, precise and given with passion. The power of the colours and the power of the strokes combined give Germaine Lacaze’s painting character.
This remarkable exhibition appears as a great ray of sunshine in the dullness of Bordeaux at the moment. The exhibition is also an opportunity for Germaine Lacaze to offer one of the paintings presented to the Musée des Beaux-Arts. A gesture towards the city where she was born in 1908, and which also saw to make her career in the capital city.
Le Courrier français
3 December 1993
Daniel Chevalier, mayor of Villeneuve-le-Comte, inaugurating the “Germaine Lacaze” exhibition at the town hall, in front of “Hommage à Vivaldi, le printemps”, “Atelier de Villeneuve-le-Comte” and “Géraldine et Norange endormis