Stanislas Lépine (1835-1892)
Was Stanislas Lépine an Impressionist?
Lépine was no co-founder of the ‘Société Anonyme…’ and only joined the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition. He had not many contacts with the Impressionists, except Boudin, Cals and maybe Rouart. He almost yearly exhibited at the Salon. This makes him just a side-figure within the ‘impressionist’ art-movement.
When we look at his painting style he often tries to render the effect of sunlight and also the influence of weather and the time of day. His brushstroke can be lively, but mostly is quite smooth and almost not juxtaposed. His palet can be bright, but mostly is quite greyish and subdued. So his painting style is more realistic with impressionist influences.
Lépine only joined the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition:
At the 1st ‘impressionist’ exposition Lépine showed 3 works (catalogue numbers 81-83) (R2,p121)
Lépine was invited (by Degas) as one of the respectable painters, so the exposition wouldn’t look to revolutionary (R6,p113). Schurr states that Lépine was barely noticed (R9), but there are at least 6 art-critics who mention him (shortly) and mostly positively (R87). Cardon (1874/04/29) reviews: ‘Lépine is a young landscape painter with a great future, a conscientious artist.’ (R2,p129;R87,p263). Burty (1874/04/25) reviews his and other works as ‘more moderate, but no less brave’ (R87,p262). Chesnau (1874/05/07) states that painters like Lépine ‘who lurk at the tail end of the latest Salon banalities’ shouldn’t have been invited to exhibit (R87,p268/9).
Walther (R3) mentions he was a member of the ‘Société Anonyme…‘, but Moffett doesn’t mention him as co-founder (R2,p105).
See link for an -/-account.
Lépine at the Salon:
Before and after Lépine exhibited with the Impressionists in 1874 he yearly exhibited at the Salon. His debut was in 1859 (R9;R3;R16;R87). He regularly exhibited from 1859-1889 (except in 1861 +81 + 87) (R1;R21). In total he exhibited 37 works (aR2). Schurr & Cabanne suggests he was alternately accepted and refused (R9), which doesn’t seem correct. Krämer (R21) mentions that Lépine participated in the Salon des Refusés in 1873, but he was not in the catalogue and he exhibited at the Salon of that year with one work (iR1). In 1891 he exhibited at the SNBA (Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts) (iR1).
Most of the works exhibited have an indication of place and some an indication of weather (snow) or time of day (moon effect). (iR1)
Lépine exhibited often at the -/-Salon. See link for an -/-account.
Lépine at other exhibitions:
Durand-Ruel starts to represent his work from 1870 (R21). Lépine exhibits 2 works (Le pont Saint-Michel + clair de lune à Paris) in 1886 in New York at the great exhibition of ‘impressionists of Paris’ by Durand-Ruel (aR2;R1,p531+544;R3). He also exhibits 3 works in New York in 1887 at an auction / exhibition by Durand-Ruel (R116,I,p56). He also exhibits at Durand-Ruel with other impressionists in 1888 (R22,I,p241;R102,p283); in 1889, where he is included as a painter he champions (R116,I,p214); posthumous a survey exhibition in 1892/11 (iR5;iR65). 1889: exhibits at the Exposition Universelle and receives a gold medal (R9;iR3;aR1;R3).
There have been larger posthumous exhibitions in Paris in 1949 + 52 + 68 (iR24;iR65).
Lépine as an artist:
Probably first was an autodidact (aR2;iR70;iR6) and copied at the Louvre (aR2). 1854-6: visited several studios and became friends with Cals and Théodore (or Théodule) Ribot (aR1;aR2). 1859: Lépine did meet Corot in Normandy (iR3;aR1). Lépine was a pupil of Corot and visited his studio from 1860-75 and also copied some of his works (iR4;R16;R9;iR1;R3;R21;R87;iR24;iR69;R61,p35;R60,p54). Meets in Corot his studio Fatin-Latour, who will become his friend and financial supporter (R21;iR5). Contacts with other Barbizon painters (R21). Influenced by Jongkind; especially in how to paint ships accurately, to render the depth of the sky and the clarity of waves (aR2;iR70;R9;R3;R21;R87;iR24;iR6;aR1); also influenced by (and friendship with) Boudin (R21;iR69); inspired by Charles François Daubigny (iR69); friendship with Ernest Auguste le Villain (iR69); friendship with Charles Ricada, correspondence between 1885-91 (aR2). Also met Manet, who portrait his wife in 1878 (aR2;R88,p443).
Lépine used many grey tones and used delicate colours (R9). He rendered subtle hues of light (R9). He often paints several versions of a painting, in which he records the interaction of various appearances of air, light and water (R21). He shared the impressionists’ interest in atmospheric effects (iR6). He used remarkable effects of light (aR2). He uses nuances of delicate grey tones (R16;iR4). He used a greyish tonality (iR70). He also uses many warm browns (R16). He uses a limited range of colours (iR5). His works displayed a tendency to experiment with intense and bright colours, but he avoided violent colours (aR2). His works render a sensible and emotional poetry (R9). He uses his paint generous and applies it with great boldness on the canvas (R16;aR2). His landscapes can be seen as precursors of the impressionist landscapes (R16;R74;aR1;aR2;iR4). He mostly paints realistic and in the style of the Barbizon school (aR1). His work is regarded between Pre-Impressionism and Impressionism (iR5). Others define him as an impressionist painter (iR5). His style did not change significantly throughout his career (aR2). He painted mostly in his studio from the drawings and studies which he made en-plein-air (aR2).
His favorite subject was the Seine (iR3;aR2). He mostly painted views of Paris and surroundings (R3;aR2), especially of Montmartre, but also the harbour of Caen and Rouen and views of Normandy (R9;aR2). His moonlights are recognised as his speciality (aR1). He did some portraits and still lives (aR2). He painted some themes several times and often did not date his works, which make them hard to date (aR2).
His works were sold by Père Martin (aR2), who also introduced him to Count Doria, who became his main patron (aR2;aR1;iR69;R87;iR4), he also invited him (and also Cals) at his castle ‘Orrouy’ in the Oise (iR69;R16;iR4) and collected his works (R9). Rouart also collected his works (R9;aR2) and also Félix Gérard, Hazar and Tavernier (aR2). In 1874 Lépine being a delicate Corot-pupil and landscapist, had already found resonance (R3,p136), but he never made a large success (R9) and he doesn’t sell many works (R3). Lépine held 5 or 6 public sales at Hôtel Drouot in Paris from 1872-86: 1874/02/11 (32 works); 1875/03/27 (or the 17th) (23 works sold for 135 à 930 francs; in total 7180 francs, averaging 312 francs; this was less than works of Morisot and Monet shortly after); 1879/02/07; 1881/02/14; 1886/03/15 (iR65;aR2;R21;R3;R9). Some write that Lépine stayed ignored by his contemporaries (R87), others that he received great respect by his fellow-artists (iR5). Others that he lived isolated from the artistic circles (aR2).
Some works that were not made by Lépine maybe after his death have received a stamp by his widow (iR65).
There also is a Joseph Lépine (1867-1943) who exhibited at the Salon 1897 onwards and at the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne. 1900 onwards he painted in a pointillist style (R9,p468/9). Maybe he owned a painting of Signac (R106,CR269).
Stanislas Victor Édouard Lépine, a short biography:
- 1835/10/03: Lépine was born in Caen (iR24;iR3;R9;R3;R21;R74;aR2). Dayez (wrongly) writes that Lépine is born in 1836 (R87).
- His father was a cabinet maker (aR1;aR2).
- 1855: installed himself in Paris (iR4).
- 1859ca: Married Marie-Odile-Emilie Dodin (iR4;aR2).
They had 3 children (aR2)
- 1859-69: He lives Chaussée Clignancourt, 20, (now: Rue de Clignancourt) Paris (Montmartre) (iR1;aR2;iR4).
- 1870-73: He lives at rue des Rosiers, 12 (Montmartre) (now: Rue du Chevalier-de-la-Barre) Paris (iR1;iR4).
- 1874-87: He lives at rue de la Fontenelle, 40 (Montmartre) (now: Rue du Chevalier-de-la-Barre) Paris (iR1;iR4).
- 1888-91: He lives at 38, Rue Milton (iR1)
- 1890/1: Georges Lecomte writes an article about Lépine in ‘L’art dans les deux mondes’ (iR70). He states that Lépine was one of the first to contribute to ruin the academic landscape by learning how to render the effects of light and atmosphere (aR2).
- 1891-92: he probably lived and died 18, Rue de Clignancourt, Paris (iR4)
- 1892/09/28: Lépine died in Paris (iR24;iR3;iR70;R9;R3;R21;R74). Some sources write he died the 29th (R116,I,p239;aR2).
- He died poor. Rouart launched a collection to help pay for the funeral, settle the debts and support the widow; Pissarro helps with 50 francs (R116I,p239;R3;R21;R74;iR5;aR2)
- 1900/05/14: an auction sale at Hôtel Drouot (by Durand-Ruel as expert) on behalf of the widow Lépine; Pissarro donates a painting (CCP1194), which is soled for 970 francs. Also works sold of Cassatt, Degas, Guillaumin, Renoir and Carrière, Delacroix, Denis, D’Espagnat, Dinet, Fatin-Latour, Guys, L’Hermitte, Luce, Mauffra and Meunier. In total 28 oil paintings and 27 other works. (iR65;R116I,p295).
- 1910ca: his widow died; there is no information of an auction sale then (iR65).
My main sources are Rewald (1973=R1), Moffett (1986=R2), Walther (2013=R3,p675), Denvir (1993=R5), Pool (1987=R6), Schurr&Cabanne (2008=R9,p469), Spiess (1992=R16), Krämer (2015=R21,p279), Maillard (1968=R74), Dayez (1974=R87,p240), Pissarro&Durand-Ruel (2005=R116), the Salon database, Wikipedia (iR3-6), RKD (iR24), marques (iR65), Bénézit (iR69), Grove (iR70) and the additional references (=aRx). 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. For other additional references (=aR) see below. See links for practical hints and abbreviations and for the subscription of the paintings.
For further reading:
Couper, John: Stanislas Lepine (1835-1892); sa vie, son oeuvre. Paris, 1969. (96p.; in French). (iR24)
Schmitt, Robert &Manuel: Stanislas Lépine: Catalogue raisonné de l’oeuvre peint. Paris, 1993. (403p.; in French) (iR24).
Bénézit (1978,vol.6,p595=R75;1999,vol.8,p539-540=R76); Busse (1977,p753=R77); Witt (1978,p174=R78); Thieme/Becker (1929,vol.23,p102=R79); Allgemeines Künstlerlexikon (1999, vol.6,p200) (iR24)
- vanished impressionists 7 (an article on Lépine and others by the eclecticlight=iR35)
- rehs.com (a biography of Rehs Gallery on Lépine)