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Louis Gauffier

Poitiers 1762 - 1801 Livorno
Price range
0 – 500,000 USD
Louis Gauffier was an accomplished neoclassical painter best known for his small-scale history pictures and portraits recognizably set in sunny Tuscany.

Originally from Poitiers, Gauffier moved to Rome in 1784, age 22, upon winning the Prix de Rome. A brief trip to Paris in 1789 coincided with the eruption of the French Revolution, prompting Gauffier’s hasty return to Rome—he remained in Italy until death.

In Rome, Gauffier enjoyed the patronage and friendship of Thomas Hope. Heralding from a Scottish banking family, the intrepid Hope journeyed not only throughout Europe, but also Greece, Anatolia, and Egypt, purchasing everything from antique sculptures to mummies. In addition to commissioning six paintings from Gauffier in 1790, access to Hope’s collection evolved the artist’s interest in antique décor, furniture, and accessories. During this period Gauffier focused exclusively on history painting, favoring of Old Testament subjects set in tranquil pastoral landscapes, as well as amorous and allegorical scenes drawn from Ovid and Tasso, rendered on an intimate scale.

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Selected artworks

Top 3 auction prices

601,000 $
739,777 $
773,195 $


The sales are: Sotheby’s New York – 24 January 2008 lot 85, Sotheby’s Milan – 15 December 2009 lot 52 (504,750 EUR), and Rouillac Paris, 4 October 2020 lot 109 (660,000 EUR).
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Books on Louis Gauffier

Michael Hilaire and Pierre Stépanoff, eds., Le voyage en Italie de Louis Gauffier, exh. cat., Montpellier, 2022.

Notable Exhibitions

Montpellier, Musée Fabre, Le voyage en Italie de Louis Gauffier, 7 May–4 September 2022; travelled to Musée Sainte-Croix, Poitiers, 14 October 2022–12 February 2023. Curated by Michel Hilaire and Pierre Stépanoff.

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