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August Laux    Click Images to Enlarge

August Laux
Kittens with Ball and Butterflies

Oil on canvas
18 x 22 inches

Oscar Adler

(American, 1847-1921)

August Laux was born in the Rhineland area of Germany, became noted for his richly colored, precisely rendered floral still lifes and genre scenes with cats and kittens, although early in his career his reputation was for frescoes and decorative painting.

His parents were French and relatives held high government positions in Strasburg. A cousin and one of his uncles were sculptors in Paris, and with exposure from childhood to persons creative in the arts, Laux followed their path.

Laux immigrated to New York City with his parents in 1863 and began studying sculpture, but in 1867 switched to painting, enrolling in classes in the National Academy of Design. He first exhibited there in 1870, and three years later accepted a commission to paint scenic murals for a private club in Manhattan. These murals received such acclaim that he became much sought after for frescoes and other decorations in public buildings, as well as private homes of wealthy persons including financiers Jay Gould and Andrew Garvey.

After 1880, he turned to painting in a realistic manner still life and genre paintings, which he continued until his death in Brooklyn in 1921. His work is in the Brooklyn Historical Society.