Robin, Louis
4.900 €

A portrait painter at work
Oil on canvas : 72 X 105 cm
Signed bottom right “Louis Robin”
Frame : 86,1 X 115,0 cm

In short

Robin worked, lived and exhibited his paintings in Lyon and in Paris. 
 
In 1898 a painting by Robin called “Une Séance d’après Nature” (“a session painted from life”) was bought by a certain Monsieur Pelletier at an exhibition in Lyon. One may wonder if this would not be our undated, but signed painting: a painter (probably a self-portrait by Robin) painting the portrait of a very nicely dressed, young, provincial woman.
 
In the footsteps of Jean-François Millet our painter has portrayed these simple people with the love, attention and imagery that used to be reserved for the higher classes of society. 
 
About Louis Robin
 
French painter
Villefranche-sur-Saone, 1845 – 1920, place unknown
 
Very rare portrait, genre scene and landscape painter.
 
Robin was first a pupil of the history painter Joseph Guichard (1806 – 1880) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Lyon (25 km S. of his birthplace, Villefranche). Guichard had also been the master of the well-known Impressionist painter Berthe Morisot (the sister-in-law of Edouard Manet). Guichard’s teaching was so heavily criticised that by 1871 he was set aside by the mayor of Lyon.   
 
Robin continued his studies with another academic painter, Jean-Léon Gérôme (1824 – 1904) at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Gérôme had also been the master of an important female Impressionist painter, the American Mary Cassatt.
 
In 1870 our painter moved to Paris, but he returned very regularly to Lyon. In fact from 1865 until 1900 he exhibited his paintings at the Salons and at different exhibitions in Lyon. Some of his paintings shown in Lyon had first been exhibited in Paris at the Salons des Indépendants. The first Salon des Indépendants was held in 1884 under the presidency of Odillon Redon, yet another pupil of Gérôme.
 
About our painting 
 
In 1898 a painting by Robin called “Une Séance d’après Nature” (“a session painted from life”) was bought by a certain Monsieur Pelletier at an exhibition in Lyon. One may wonder if this would not be our undated, but signed painting: a painter (probably a self-portrait by Robin) painting the portrait of a very nicely dressed, young, provincial woman.
 
It is strange that one finds so little information and so very few paintings by our painter. The other paintings that I found by Robin are stylistically and thematically related to our painting. Clearly Robin chose for a warm, slightly idealised, rural, Naturalistic form of academic painting.
 
In this colourful, clean and light peasant interior an artist paints the portrait of a magnificently dressed young farm woman sitting in front of a canopy bed. Her husband, mother-in-law, the maid and the eldest of her three barefooted children are close observers of the artist. In the footsteps of Jean-François Millet our painter has portrayed these simple people with the love, attention and imagery that used to be reserved for the higher classes of society. 
 
Why should you buy this painting?
 
Because it is such an enchanting warm-hearted ode to peasant life, holding a portrait of a painter, probably Robin himself.
Comparative paintings
Click photos for more details