CAMILLE AUGUSTE GASTINE (Paris 1819 - 1867 Paris)
Oil on paper
15 × 11 inches (38.1 × 27.9 cm)
Vente Gastine, Bourges, France, 1 April 2000
E. A. G., Notice sur Gastine (Camille-Auguste), artiste peintre mort le 3 avril 1867, Paris, Edouard Vert, 1867
Gastine studied painting in Paris with Auguste Hesse (1795-1869) before being accepted at the École des Beaux-Arts; he later entered the ateliers of Paul Delaroche (1797-1856) and François-Édouard Picot (1786-1868). Gastine regularly exhibited at Salon between 1844 and 1867, and at the Exposition universelle of 1855.
In 1844 Gastine traveled to Italy and again in 1850 to assist the brothers Raymond and Paul Balze in their copies of Raphael’s frescoes at the Vatican. This project was initiated by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres (1780-1867), then the director of the French Academy in Rome. Ingres recommended Gastine to the minister of the interior in Rome, and Gastine worked for Ingres at the Exposition universelle of 1855.
Primarily a painter of historical and religious subjects, Gastine also designed stained glass windows. He collaborated on several large-scale decorative projects for religious institutions, including the Abbaye de Saint-Germain-des-Prés with Hippolyte Flandrin (1809-1864), the chapel at the chateau of Broglie with Savinien Petit (1815-1878), and the cathedral of Saint-André, Bordeaux with Sébastien Cornu (1804-1870). In 1864 he was involved in the decoration of the Maison pompéienne, the Parisian palace of Prince Jérôme Napoleon, the youngest brother of Napoléon Bonaparte.
Our plein air landscape with a lane and trees was first sketched with brown oil paint and the wooden tip of a brush. The composition was then built up in thin layers of color, quickly painted to indicate the shapes of the foliage, the lane and sky. In some areas of the painting, the initial under drawing is still visible. Stylistically, this freely painted landscape differs from the church decorations from which Gastine made his living. This oil sketch, which remained in the collection of the artist’s heirs until 2000, was almost certainly made for Gastine’s own pleasure.