William Julien Emile Edouard LAPARRA
(Bordeaux, 1873 - Hecho, Spain, 1920)
Portrait of a young girl in an interior
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated 1911 lower left
58.5 x 48 cm
Exhibition: possibly Mulhouse Salon of 1911 under the number 200, entitled “Looking back”
From an artist family, his brother Raoul being a musician, he, painter, aquafortist and draftsman, William LAPARRA followed the teachings of the School of Fine Arts of Bordeaux from 1888 to 1891 with E. PIGANEAU, F. SAUNIER and Ch. BRAQUHAYE as teachers. LAPARRA then went to Paris and entered the Académie Julian in 1892, of which he became a professor a little later. He was a pupil of Jules LEFEBVRE, William BOUGUEREAU and Tony ROBERT-FLEURY.
He exhibited during his career at the Salon of French Artists from 1899 to his death and he became a member in 1905.
He also exhibited very regularly in the Salons de Province, including, among others, Rouen, Le Havre and Mulhouse where our portrait was possibly exhibited in 1911.
The academic career of LAPARRA was a real success. He obtained the first second Grand Prix of Rome in 1894 with “Judith and Holoferne”. The supreme consecration of the first Grand Prix of Rome will return to him four years later in 1898 with “The pool of Bethsaida”. He was 25 years old. This did not prevent him from continuing to exhibit at the Salon and accumulating the rewards: third medal at the Salon of 1899 with a “Portrait of grandmother”, second medal in 1903 for a triptych on Job ...
From 1899 to 1902, he stayed at the Académie de France in Rome. He took the opportunity to visit Genoa, La Spezzia, Pisa, Florence, Perugia, Paestum, Pompeii, Capri, Sicily and Venice, then Greece and Egypt. Son of Spanish, LAPARRA also returned to the lands of his ancestors during several trips to Spain.
He settled around 1910 in Boulogne-Billancourt where he befriended the sculptor Paul LANDOWSKI - whose sister he married at the first wedding - and with the Spanish painter Ignacio ZUOLAGA whom he met in Paris and who influenced him from then.
LAPARRA married Mademoiselle Fanny BERTRAND for a second time, of which they had a son Jacques Olivier (1910-1940) who was himself a painter.
His fame did not prevent him from being an artist in adequacy with the humanistic thoughts of his time. Sensitive to the upheavals of his time, he offered one of his major works, “The steps of Jacques Bonhomme” (Triptych symbolizing the three forms of social claim through violence, thought and love), at the Albi workers' glass roof, first cooperative worker of France. He also devoted some watercolors and wash dated from the summer of 1916 to the events that took place on the front of the Somme and the Aisne during the First World War.
LAPARRA excels in highlighting the character of the characters he paints in a thick and rich material. Thanks to his rare abilities, he was able to build a great career as a successful painter, sometimes using the symbol, but never sacrificing his gifts for the beautiful material and his ability to translate the expression through drawing.
His work was the subject of several retrospective exhibitions, including that of Bordeaux in 1997.
Museums: Aurillac, Bordeaux, Caen, Chateau-Thierry, Nantes, Paris (Louvre, Orsay, Mus. d’Art Mod), Pau, Roubaix ...)