Still life with apples - Joseph Lacasse (1894-1975)
An oil on canvas measuring 73X54 cm representing a still life with apples and pitcher signed lower right and dated 1912 by Joseph Lacasse (1894-1975). This painting is a study for a work by Joseph Lacasse, already known to the artist's family and registered in the archives of the works of Joseph Lacasse under the number 475. Always remained within the family, this painting (n°475 ) has never been shown and has never been published in a catalogue. For all these years, this work has been in the artist's family and has never left. Only the artist could therefore have had knowledge of this work at the time of the production of your painting, according to the family. Our painting uses the same composition and the same colors as the final work owned by the family. The colors of the work are however slightly less intense and in a smaller format, since the final painting measures 80 x 115 cm.
The family has therefore certified the authenticity of our painting. It is now recorded in the archives of the work of Joseph Lacasse.
Joseph Lacasse, born in Tournai in Belgium on August 5, 1894 and died in Paris on October 26, 1975, is a Belgian painter and sculptor naturalized French.
Joseph Lacasse was born into a very poor working-class family. His parents like his two sisters will know the difficult fate of manual workers from the working proletariat: precariousness is the rule there. He declares himself “son of a socialist militant worker, quarry worker and militant (himself)”. His friend, the writer Georges Delizée, later specified that although he attended primary school until the age of eleven, he hardly ever went to school because "he was going to wander according to fortune . He ran the streets, jumped the streams. He was also fighting."
On the advice of his masters, his father took him out of school after his first communion (he was still almost illiterate at 11) and apprenticed him to a painting contractor. However, his innate gift for decorative painting and drawing, color and pictorial art led his father to enroll him at the age of twelve at the Academy of Fine Arts of the city of Tournai (end of 1906). He appears on his registers until 1921, while exercising, within the limits of the time available, a professional activity allowing him to meet his material needs and those of his family. He will also work with a renowned Tournai decorator Charles Hourdequin who will train him in various pictorial techniques.
Joseph Lacasse then made several trips to Italy, Spain, Brittany and Paris where he settled permanently in 1925, rue Mazarine in the 6th arrondissement. He will meet there for a few months two former fellow students from Tournai, Jean Leroy and Marcel Degand. He worked for Maurice Denis for a while and met many personalities from the Christian cultural milieu. He is in contact with other artists including Robert Delaunay for whom he feels great admiration.
He married in July 1927. He bought a small house in Tournai for his parents with the proceeds of his work and his exhibitions (including two exhibitions in the North of France at the beginning of 1928, in Roubaix (Galerie Dujardin) and in Mons- en-Barœul, which are very successful). He restored it and painted murals still visible.
He returned, during 1928, to Paris, with his wife, 11, impasse Ronsin in Montparnasse where he met many painters and sculptors including his neighbor and friend Constantin Brancusi. During this period, he befriended two writers who shared the same sensibility: Robert Garric of the Social Teams and especially Henry Poulaille, a “proletarian” writer.
He is a real success as a painter of religious themes of a social nature. An industrialist from Roubaix, Mr. Welcomme, financed him to cover the Saint-Dominique chapel in Juvisy-sur-Orge with frescoes. It will be inaugurated in 1931. His little girl who has just been born is baptized there. But the representation of the chosen themes displeased some parishioners and ecclesiastical authorities4. In December, the Bishop of Versailles Mgr Roland-Gosselin had them washed. The painter and his patron brought a civil lawsuit, which they lost on appeal in 1934. Lacasse lost orders and support. Ulcerated, ruined, he renounces this type of painting and turns resolutely towards the non-figurative. Above all, he had to practice other trades again (including that of Fort des Halles) to feed his family.
During this same period, he created in his studio in Impasse Ronsin the gallery L'Équipe, a sort of house of culture before its time (conferences, exhibitions, theatre) outside the official circuits. Spurred on by Poulaille, L’Équipe moved to 79, boulevard du Montparnasse in 1937. A review will even be created in 1939, but only three issues will be published