Léo Gausson began studying wood sculpture and then trained in engraving under Chauvel. He became a member of the Neo-Impressionists along with Signac, Maximilien Luce and Pissarro. At this period he received advice from Luce and Pissarro, who influenced his work. Around 1890 he moved in literary circles and associated particularly with Gustave Kahn and Adolphe Retté, whose poems he illustrated. He also played an active part in organising the first Lagny Salons. Later, in 1901, perhaps disheartened, he joined the civil service and was posted to Guinea. He painted in Brittany from 1910 to 1914.
A genuinely talented colourist, he produced fine, picturesque engravings of reproductions copied after Millet's The Gleaners and First Steps. He also executed a medallion portrait of Millet. Around 1890 his style developed towards that of the Synthetists.
From 1887 to 1895 he exhibited at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris; in 1892 he was invited with Luce, Pissarro and Toulouse-Lautrec to exhibit at the Groupe des Vingt exhibition in Brussels. His work has often been shown at exhibitions on the Neo-Impressionists: in 1968, Neo-impressionism at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; in 1978 at the Musée Maximilien-Luce, Mantes-la-Jolie; in 1985 at the Musée Camille-Pissarro, Pontoise; and in 1987-1988 at the Fondation Septentrion, Marcq-en-Barœul. During his life he showed his work in solo exhibitions: in 1896 at the Galerie Lafitte in Paris; in 1899 a retrospective at the Théâtre Antoine in Paris; and in 1988 at the Musée Municipal Gatien-Bonnet in Lagny-sur-Marne.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Amsterdam (Van Gogh Mus.): Bussy-St-Georges Bell Tower (Le Clocher de Bussy-St-Georges) (1886)
Geneva (Petit Palais): Sailing Ships (Les Voiliers) (1887); Houses, July Sunshine (Des maisons, soleil de juillet) (1886)
Indianapolis (MA): Barges on the Marne at Lagny (c. 1888)
Lagny-sur-Marne (Mus. Gatien-Bonnet)
Paris (Mus. d'Orsay): Road with a Wall running alongside (Chemin bordé d'un mur) (1886)