Born in Maromme, near Rouen, Désiré François Laugée (1823-1896) studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris after learning drawing with Louis Nicolas Lemasle in Saint-Quentin.
He entered the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris and became friends with Alexandre Dumas and Victor Hugo. Between 1845 and 1896, he participated in each edition of the Paris Salon where he obtained several medals.
If he painted many portraits, he participated in the decoration of many public buildings such as the Bourse du Commerce in Paris or the Palais de Justice in Rouen.
But it is in the naturalist vein of the Barbizon school that he excels, with scenes of country life of great delicacy.
In 1850, Désiré François Laugée married Marie Célestine Malézieux, sister of the painter Jean-Baptiste Malézieux. They will have two daughters and a son, Georges Laugée, who will also have a fine career as a painter. The latter will also endeavor to describe with grace moments of peasant life, such as "the first steps" where the filiation with the style of his father is obvious.
In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...