Colin, Gustave

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Gustave (-Henri) Colin




Gustave Colin joined only the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition in 1874:
At the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition Gustave Colin showed 5 works.
Colin was invited by Monet, Pissarro and Degas (R9). Chesneau criticizes the lack of analogy at the first ‘impressionist’ exposition and mentions it a failure to include Gustave Colin and others (R22I,p107).
See link for his -/-pictures. See link for an account.



Gustave (-Henri) Colin at the Salon:
Colin made his debut at the Salon in 1857 with ‘Portrait de Grand-Mère’, a work that is now lost (aR10;R3;iR1;iR3;iR69). After that he exhibited almost yearly at the Salon (iR1), until 1889 (R9). 1890 onwards he exhibits with the SNBA (R3;R9;iR69).
See link for his -/-pictures. See link for an account.
It is good to distinguish Gustave(-Henri) Colin from other artists with the same name: Alexandre Colin (1798-1873), Uranie-Alphonsine Colin-Libour (1833-?), Paul-Alfred Colin (1838-1916) and Paul-Émile Colin (1867-1949). There are also contemporary artists with the last name ‘Collin’ (R9). At the Salon there was a Paul Colin, born in Nîmes, who exhibited in 1864 + 65 + 1885 (and also in other years) and a Gustave Colin, born in Villars (Savoie), who exhibited in 1882 and also a Alexandre-Marie Colin and a Charles-Amédée Colin (iR1).


Gustave Colin as a painter:
Colin painted mainly landscapes and seascapes. Many of them in the Basque region. Colin paints in a Barbizon-style (R3). Arsène Alexandre calls him ‘one of the last among the great romantics and one of the first among the great naturalists’. Not one time Alexandre refers Colin to the Impressionists. (aR9) Especially Corot had a great influence on Colin (iR4;R16). He painted en-plein-air (iR5;iR35). In his titles Colin very often renders an indication of place and regularly an indication of time of day / season / weather conditions (see account). He tried to render changing atmospheric effects (aR10). Others praise him for his ‘colorful palette and his perfect mastery of southern light’ (aR4). His style sometimes was more realistic and sometimes more impressionistic, using a looser brushstroke (iR35). In his early years his pallet is more dark and becomes more and more light and at the end totally impressionistic (R16). His compositions can be classical (R9). His pallet is warm and his colours truthful (R9;iR69). His light effects are important (R9). Castagnary praises Colin for his light effects (R3). Zola also praises the marvellous intensity of his light (iR4). Arsène Alexandre praises his ‘wild energy, a superb vitality’ (aR9). Count Doria called him one of the founders of the modern plein-air school and that he connected the school of 1830 and the Impressionists (R9).
Colin also painted some portraits.


Biography of Gustave (-Henri) Colin:

  • 1828/07/11 Gustave-Henri Colin was born in Arras (iR3)
    His father Jacques-Henry Colin was a judge. His uncle was mayor in Arras from 1837-48 (aR12).
  • 1847: Colin was pupil of Constant Dutilleux (1807-65) in Arras (iR5;iR35;R9;aR10;aR13)
    Colin was pupil of Ary Scheffer (iR3;iR35;aR10)
    Colin was pupil of Thomas Couture (R9;iR3;iR35;aR10)
    Colin was pupil and friend of Corot, who influenced him very much (iR4;R16)
    Note: in the Salon database his teachers are not mentioned (iR1)
    Arsène Alexandre calls Delacroix, Rousseau and Corot as his predecessors (aR9)
  • 1850-53: studies law in Paris (aR12)
  • 1858: establishes a studie in Ciboure (iR3;aR10), this is in the French Basque region.
  • 1860: marries Marie Carmier Couspeire, a Basque. They move to rue Agorette in Ciboure (aR4;aR12;iR3;aR10)
  • 1862: moves to Saint-Jean-de-Luz (iR3;aR10), just north of Ciboure; see account.
    There he meets Whistler (aR10). Wikipedia writes they also did correspond (iR3), but there is not a reference to lettres of them in Whistler his correspondence (aR10). Whistler cals Colin a friend of Emile Vernier and refers that Fatin-Latour owned a painting of Colin (aR10).
  • 1863 sources mention that Colin did take part at the Salon-des-Refusés with ‘Pelota players / Joueurs de Pelote’ (iR69;R9;R3;iR4;iR35), but he was not in the catalogue (iR1). In this painting he depicted scenes of the outdoors and everyday life (aR4).
  • Colin teaches at the Académie Julian in Paris (iR5;aR4;aR12). This remark is related to his exhibiting at the Salon des Refuses, what seems to be a bit remarkable.
  • 1867-79? : lives at the Rue Fontaine (-Saint-Georges), 14 in Dutilleux (iR1)
    1873: his (correspondence) adres for the Salon was: Rue d’Amsterdam, 77, Paris (the same as Brandon) (iR1)
  • Jean Aufort (?-1988/11/11) was one of his pupils (?at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris) (iR69)
    Hermann-Paul / Georges Hermann Rene Paul (1874?-1940/06/23) was one of his pupils (? at the École des Arts Décoratifs in Paris or the Académie Julian in Paris) (iR69;iR70)
    Katherine S. Dreier (1877-1952) was one of his pupils (iR69)
    Colin inspired Albert de Meuron, who debuted at the Salon in 1848, to paint in the Pyrenées and to use a warmer pallet (iR69).
  • Colin often visited his patron Count Armand Doria at the Château d’Orrouy in Picardy (iR35;iR3). In 1999 there was an auction of his collection of Colin and Cals, see below (iR24).
    Rouart also did collect his works (R3)
  • Colin did regularly auction his works at the Hôtel Drouot (aR5;aR8;aR9)
  • 1880: receives a medal of Honneur at the Salon (iR4;aR4)
  • after 1880: paints with Zacharie Baton (1851-1925) in Aras (iR69)
  • 1889: Colin took part in the decoration of the Salon des Arts in the Hôtel de Ville in Paris with ‘La Seine au Bas-Meudon’ (R9). He did so together with François Flameng, Léon Bonnat, P.A.J. Dagnan-Bouveret, Léon Glaize, Charles Lapostolet, Joseph Layraud and Tony Robert-Fleury. François Flameng did his decoration in 1903 (iR70)
  • 1889: receives a silver medal (or: médaille d’argent) at the Salon (iR5;iR4;aR4)
  • 1890 onwards: exhibits regularly at the Société National / SNBA of which he also was a member (R3;iR69)
  • 1900: receives a gold medal at the Salon (iR4)
  • 1900: works of Gustave-Henri Colin are exhibited at the World’s fair: no.111. La recolte de mais a Urugana (Basses-Pyrenées) (à M. Demonts); 112. Paysage des Pyrenées (à M. Henri Rouart)  (iR107).
  • 1906: special exhibition at the SNBA in room 8 of works of Colin (iR1)
  • 1907: appointed Chevalier in the Legion d’Honneur (iR5;aR4)
  • 1910/12/28 Gustave-Henri Colin died in Paris (iR3)
    Another source mentions he died the 29th (iR4)
    Other sources mention he maybe died in 1911 or 1919 (R3;iR69;iR24)
  • Colin rests at the Belvédère Cemetery in Ciboure, where a street bears his name (aR4).


Sources on Gustave(-Henri) Colin:
Gustave Colin is hardly mentioned in books on Impressionism. My main sources are Moffett (1986;R2,p120), Walther (2013;R3,p655), Schurr & Cabanne (2008,R9,p189+190), Spiess (R16,p105), Wikipedia (iR3;iR5), the Salon database (iR1), Eclecticlight (iR35=aR1), RKD (iR24), Benezit (iR69), Grove Art (iR70) and the additional references (=aR; see below). For other general references (=R) see. My main sources (for the pictures) from the internet are Wikimedia (iR6) and xx. For other references to internet sites (=iR) see. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.
For further reading see:
Bénézit (1976,vol.III,p106=R75;1999=R76), Busse (1977,p249=R77), Witt Library (1978,p63=R78), Allgemeines Künstler Lexicon (1998,vol.20,p254=R79) (iR24;iR4)
Gustave Colin 1828-1910; exhibition catalogue. Musée d’Arras, 1967 (iR24).
Dessins et tableaux d’Adolphe-Félix Cals,  tableaux de Gustave Colin, provenant de l’ancienne collection Doria. Auction catalogue, auction house Piasa, Paris, 1999. (iR24)

Additional references:

  1. Vanished French Impressionists 5 (on eclecticlight=iR35)
  2. List of 443 works of Colin at Artprice (iR16)
  3. List (and images) of 17 works of Colin at Joconde (=iR23)
  4. (pictures of a work and a biography of Colin, mostly derived from aR12)
  5. (=iR19; catalogue of Drouot auction 1882/03/29 of 35 works of Colin) PDF-version ;
  6. (picture of Colin and biography)
  7. (=iR117; drawing of Colin exhibited at the salon in 1908 + info)
  8. (auction catalogue of 23 works of Colin exhibited at Drouot 1886/03/25; = iR40)
  9. (posthumous auction catalogue of 45 works by Colin at Drouot 1909/12/03, with a short biography of Arsène Alexandre; =iR40)
  10. (references to Colin in the correspondence of Whistler)
  11. Musée des Beaux-Arts in Arras (has a collection of 30 works of Colin (aR4)
  12. (a short biography of Colin)
  13. (1874/03/26 auction of the collection of C. Dutilleux with a short biography by his pupil and friend Gustave Colin, with engravings of works by Delacroix, Corot, Dutilleux and others; =iR19)
  14. “Gustave Colin.” In Database of Modern Exhibitions (DoME). European Paintings and Drawings 1905-1915. Last modified Nov 4, 2019.  =iR261; overview of contributions of Colin in exhibitions and auctions from 1905-1915 (4 entries)
  15. x