FARGUE, Paulus Constantijn La
(b. 1729, Den Haag, d. 1782, Den Haag)


Dutch painter, draughtsman and printmaker, part of the La Fargue family of artists. Like many 18th-century Dutch topographical artists he began his career by painting wall decorations. In the late 1750s he worked in collaboration with his younger brother Jacob Elias for patrons such as the French Ambassador to The Hague, Louis-Auguste-Augustin, Comte d'Affry, and the English envoy, Sir Joseph Yorke. In 1761 he joined Pictura, at the same time as Jacob Elias.

Paulus's best works are townscapes and landscapes, although he also represented current events and painted portraits. Paulus's sepia drawings from the mid-1650s depict the countryside around The Hague and the Haagse Bos, with buildings playing only a minor part. In these he concentrated particularly on the luxuriant foliage of the trees.

Townscapes first appeared in his work in the early 1760s and gradually came to dominate both his drawings and paintings. His topographical paintings, usually small, reflect the influence of Jan van der Heyden. The two best-known, however, are large-scale views of The Hague: View of the Hofvijver (1762; The Haags Historisch Museum, The Hague) and View of the Grote Markt (1760; National Gallery, London). They are topographically accurate, with lively colours and crowded staffage. The painting of the figures is not particularly accomplished: the poses and gestures are contrived, and the figures do not form a cohesive whole within the composition. Besides The Hague and its environs, Paulus depicted Rotterdam and, during the 1770s, views in and around Leiden, Haarlem and Amsterdam.