Sandor L. Landeau (1864-1924), Portrait of Alexis J. Fournier, c. 1915; oil on linen over board, 17 1/2 x 17 1/2 inches; frame: 24 1/2 x 24 3/4 x 1 inches; Gift of Grace Meibohm
Hungarian-born American artist Sandor Leopold Landeau painted the portrait of Alexis Jean Fournier (1865-1948), around the time that Bert Hubbard invited him to join the Roycroft artists’ colony in East Aurora, New York, because of their mutual friendship. The soft focus is an appropriate depiction of Fournier, who came to be known as the “Barbizon of East Aurora.” Both artists were interested in painting dappled light and atmospheric effects in idyllic European style landscapes of American subjects.
Landeau studied in the U.S. and became a naturalized citizen before going to Paris in 1896 where he and Fournier became acquainted while studying at the Académie Julian. Landeau’s early works, which included many religious paintings, were created for the Paris Salon. He lived abroad for many years, except during the period of 1904-1908 when he had a joint residency in New York and Paris. His European paintings were shown at the Broderick Galleries in Buffalo in 1916 and in the Vose Galleries in Boston. The Aurora Town Hall displayed Landeau’s large oil on canvas For the Sailors Lost at Sea, c. 1907. —NW