Victor Laloux, the architect of Orsay station

Victor Laloux, the architect of Orsay station

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Title: Victor Laloux (1850-1937), architect.

Author : DESCHENAUX, known as DECHENAUD Adolphe (1868 - 1926)

Creation date : 1922

Date shown:

Dimensions: Height 55 - Width 47

Technique and other indications: Oil on canvas

Storage place: Orsay Museum website

Contact copyright: © Photo RMN-Grand Palais - H. Lewandowskisite web

Picture reference: 99DE5012 / RF 1983-99

Victor Laloux (1850-1937), architect.

© Photo RMN-Grand Palais - H. Lewandowski

Publication date: March 2016

Historical context

Emblematic representative of the official architect covered with honors, Victor Laloux enjoyed an exemplary career. His work earned him numerous international awards and distinctions, and in 1920 he became president of the Society of French Artists.

Image Analysis

Adolphe Déchenaud, after a stay in Rome from 1894 to 1898, became known through the portraits he sent to the Salon of French artists. Awarded a third class medal at the end of that of 1900 where he presented a portrait of Constant Roux (current location uncertain) he becomes the usual painter of a group of artists who are his friends (Etienne Dujardin-Beaumetz, 1906, Paris, Musée d´Orsay). Subsequently, through the theme of the workshop, he will bring together the members of his artistic circle in compositions imbued with a lot of naturalness (Friends group, 1908, Paris, Musée d´Orsay).

This portrait of Victor Laloux, which can be dated to 1912 or 1922 thanks to the remains of the inscription on the lower left of the painting, seems more official and represents the character from the front, against an indistinct dark background, in a tight frame. We find there the artist’s usual academic doing, dominated by the smooth touch and the clear palette restoring skin tones.


A tribute by an artist to his elder, this small-format painting, with an intimate character despite the severity and solemnity of the composition, remained in the dedicatee's house until the time of its donation to the Musée d´Orsay. If it is possible to consider its realization in 1922, which the features of the architect seem to corroborate, we can consider this painting as the homage of a member to the new president of the Society of French artists, or as a mark of friendship between these two men who met on the benches of the Institute since 1918. Through the author, the model, the technique or the motivation of this painting, two artists are found together who made it last late in the twentieth century a certain academic tradition, both pictorial and architectural, linked to the teaching of the School of Fine Arts, both of which covered the entire course.

  • architecture
  • station
  • portrait
  • town planning
  • Laloux (Victor)


Marie-Laure CROSNIER-LECONTE Victor Laloux, the architect of Orsay station Paris, 1987.

To cite this article

Dominique LOBSTEIN, "Victor Laloux, the architect of the Orsay station"

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