Joseph Bory Latour Marliac
Thanks to Father Berghs, Ray and Barbara Davis, and the Journal we know a lot more about Latour Marliac than we did when Norman Bennett wrote the first article about him in the 12-87 of the Journal. Since this information is easily available from The Water Gardening Journal and in the interests of conserving time we will briefly touch on Latour-Marliac’s Life.
Marliac not only brought many new varieties into the world but he inspired a great artist as well. In 1889, Marliac exhibited his water lilies at the Universal Exposition held in the Bagatelle (now extinct) near the Eiffel Tower in Paris. He was awarded Diplomas of Honor and Gold Medals.
All this brought his water lilies to the attention of Claude Monet, among others, who was a passionate gardener as well as successful Impressionist painter. He created his water gardens at Giverny in 1893 and planted them with Nymphaea from Establissements Botaniques Latour-Marliac. The paintings of these water lilies are probably the best known and best loved of all Monet’s work.
Latour-Marliac was a kind and loving man as evidenced by correspondence between family and friends, an astute business man and a dedicated community member serving as mayor of Temple-sur-Lot for 6 years. Marliac died in 191l, at Le Temple-sur-Lot, at the age of 81 and seems to have been going strong right up to that day based on copious correspondence written that year.