LA FARGUE, Dutch family of painters and draughtsmen

The family consisted of four brothers and a sister, all children of the Hague notary Jean Thomas La Fargue and Charlotte Constantia van Nieuwland. The La Fargue family were Huguenots, originally from Bordeaux, who were forced to leave after the repeal of the Edict of Nantes in 1685.

The eldest son, Isaac Lodewijk (1726-1805), who called himself La Fargue van Nieuwland after his mother, was primarily a portrait artist (e.g. Hendrick-Jan van Rijswijk, 1754; Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam). The rest of the family are best known for their drawings and paintings of townscapes. The most talented, versatile and productive of the five was Paulus Constantijn La Fargue, who was probably entirely self-taught. He was the teacher of his younger brothers and sister. The oeuvre of Jacob Elias La Fargue, who regularly collaborated with Paulus, consists mostly of paintings and drawings of The Hague and surroundings, but he also depicted Haarlem, Amsterdam, Utrecht and Amersfoort.

Karel La Fargue (1738-1793), who entered Pictura, the painters' confraternity in The Hague, in 1768, executed primarily sepia and black chalk drawings. These include attractive landscapes in the environs of The Hague, slavish copies of his elder brothers' townscapes and forgeries of drawings by such 17th-century masters as Jan van Goyen, Salomon van Ruysdael, Aelbert Cuyp and Nicolaes Berchem.

Only drawings, a small number of paintings and a single etching by Maria Margaretha La Fargue (1743-1813) survive. Apart from a few portraits, historical scenes and townscapes, her work consists of genre scenes, such as interior views with visitors attending a newborn child, or street scenes with servants and tradesmen conversing on doorsteps.

Most of the paintings by the La Fargue family are in the Haags Historisch Museum, and the bulk of their drawings in the Gemeentearchief, both in The Hague.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.