1849 - 1928
Albert Lebourg first studied architecture. Through his teacher, M. Drouin, he met Victor Delamarre, a local landscape artist who guided his first steps and introduced him to painting on site. He also attended M. Morin’s evening classes at Rouen’s school of art and design. While holding down a job in an architect’s practice, he continued to paint and draw. In 1872, one of his paintings exhibited in Rouen attracted the attention of the collector Laperlier, who found him a position as an art teacher in Algeria; there he devoted his leisure time to his art. In 1877, he returned to Paris, where he studied under Jean-Paul Laurens for two years. His friend Dr Paulin encouraged him to explore the Auvergne in 1885-1886. From then until the mid-1890s, he moved around the Île de France, Normandy and the Channel ports. His views of Rouen taken ‘from the balcony’ date from 1893. His wife’s death in 1894 briefly interrupted his travels, but in 1895, he set off for the Netherlands. During his two stays in that country, he visited The Hague, Rotterdam, Dordrecht, Amsterdam, Delfshaven, Schiedam and Overschie, producing a series of watercolours and wash drawings. A brief visit to the United Kingdom focused on museums and an enhanced appreciation of Turner, Constable and Gainsborough. After a few months in Normandy, he was off to Switzerland in 1902. In 1904, he was working from life in La Bouille, then he was on the road again, working in Agen, Bordeaux and La Rochelle (1905). In Paris in 1905-1906, he produced a set of drawings of the Passerelle de l’Institut (Notre Dame de Paris, the Pont St-Louis, the Pont-Marie). In 1910 in Amiens, he painted several canvases of the cathedral. Then he was off to Belgium for more museums and sight-seeing in Bruges, Ghent and De Panne. After World War I, he completed his Lake at Chalou-Moulineux and a Notre Dame de Paris for the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts. In 1920, after much activity, he was paralysed by a stroke and died eight years later.
Albert Lebourg became an associate member of the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts in 1894. In 1903, he was made Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur after exhibiting Côte Ste-Catherine, Snow Effects in Hanoi. Primarily a landscape artist, Lebourg sought to harmonise light variations in his representation of riverbanks, snowscapes and sunsets.He took part in the Impressionists’ group exhibitions in 1879 and 1880 before showing Morning in Dieppe at the Salon des Artistes Français in 1883 and Meadow on the Bank of the Allier there in 1886. He showed a great many works in solo exhibitions in Paris between 1896 and 1903 and regularly participated in the Salons de la Société Nationale from 1891 to 1914. His most important exhibition took place in February 1918 with 216 paintings, 2 watercolours and 51 drawings.He figured posthumously in collective thematic exhibitions such as: 2003, Around Impressionism: Nineteen Painters from the School of Normandy (Autour de l’Impressionnisme: Dix-neuf Peintres de l’École Normande), Maison des Arts, Antony (Hauts-de-Seine); 2003, Painters from the Other Shore. Algiers 1830-1930 (Les Peintres de l’autre Rive. Alger 1830-1930), Musée de la Castre, Cannes; 2003, The School of Algiers (L’École d’Alger), Musée des Beaux-Arts, Bordeaux. Retrospectives of his work were organised in 1970 at the Galerie Jean-Paul Wick, Paris and in 2002, Albert Lebourg: an Impressionist Afloat (Albert Lebourg: un Impressionniste au Fil de l’Eau) at the Musée Fournaise, Chatou.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Algiers (Mus. National des Beaux-Arts)
Paris (Mus. d’Orsay): The Ain Riverbanks
Paris (Mus. Marmottan-Monet): Quai de la Tournelle and Notre-Dame, Paris (1909, oil on canvas)
Rouen (MBA): Small Farm by the Water (Ile de Vaux) (1903); Algiers Street
San Francisco (FAM): Swiss Lake Landscape (oil on canvas)
Toulouse (Fondation Bemberg Mus.): The Pont Neuf and the River Seine