In the series of forgotten painters from the first exhibition of painters of the Société Anonyme Coopérative des Peintres, Sculpteurs et Graveurs in 1874, this eighth article evokes Stanislas Lepine (1835-1892).
If the placid and discreet character of Stanislas Lépine kept him on the sidelines of his impressionist contemporaries, the latter will nevertheless present 3 of his works at the exhibition.
Born into a family of cabinetmakers in Caen, he received his artistic training through contact with Jean-Baptiste Corot, of whom the playwright and art critic Georges Lecomte wrote that he was "the only and direct pupil".
Stanislas Lépine shares the same picture dealer as Johan Barthold Jongkind. He will share with the latter the taste for marine motifs and nocturnal luminosity. It is moreover with a "Port de Caen, lune effect" that he will be admitted to the Salon of 1859 for the first time. Throughout his career, Lépine will undergo the procrastination of the Jury of the Salon, refused in 1861 , accepted in 1863 with his "Pont des Invalides", accepted in 1866 and 1867 (his paintings also bear the mention "Student of Corot") refused again in 1873, only obtaining a medal at the Universal Exposition of 1889.
His style, dark and sometimes awkward in his youthful years, is solidified by a more assertive technique and a luminous palette, clearly influenced by Jean-Baptiste Corot. If he continues to paint the landscapes of his native Normandy, Stanislas Lépine has become one of the greatest specialists in views of Paris. He settled in Montmartre and became the essential painter of scenes of Parisian life, far from the tumult of the boulevards.
Stanislas Lépine was not mistreated by the critics at the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874. He did not participate in the following ones, preferring to continue to present his works at the official Salon, and to sell his paintings at the Hôtel Drouot. Supported by Henri Fantin-Latour, he can also count on the protection of Count Armand Doria, politician, patron and great collector.
Very close with Adolphe Félix Cals, he also frequents Édouard Manet, who paints a portrait of his childhood friend and marries Marie Dodin.
Hard-working, sincere and of good character, Stanislas Lépine died in Paris in 1892, leaving his family in a precarious situation, to the point that a subscription was organized by his friends, in which Camille Pissarro participated in particular.
In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...