Gaston Casimir Saint-Pierre (1833-1916)

Gaston Casimir Saint-Pierre

“The Odalisque”

Oil on Canvas



Signed G. Saint-Pierre

Gaston Casimir Saint-Pierre was a painter of genre, portraits and mythological scenes in both oils and the difficult medium of pastel. He was considered to be one of the most gifted painters of his time, viewed by his contemporary’s qualities. He was born in Nimes on May 12th, 1833 and commenced his studies at the Paris Salon under the esteemed eyes of both Leo Cogniet and Charles Francois Jalabrt. As mentor’s they instilled in him, not only their solid bedrock of academic knowledge and technique, but were also a great inspiration to him, guiding and nurturing his natural talent.

Saint-Pierre made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1861 and showed many works at Salon of French Artists, an institute to which he became a Member in 1883 and was later to sit on both the committee and jury. He was awarded a second-class medal in 1879 and bestowed the Legion d’honneur in 1881, becoming an officer in 1903.

Saint-Pierre was revered by critics of the day, awe-struck by the works he was producing, his pictures grasped the very essence of whichever subject matter he chose, he depicted the darkly mysterious culture of the Near East in his Orientalist works, together with large decorative, highly detailed and academic works with equal aplomb. Few artists have carved out such respected careers covering such a large expanse of subject matter; he was never daunted by a project and approached each with an open mind and refreshing takes on classical methods.

During his long career this artist decorated among other things, the foyer of the theatre in Nimes, the buffet of the main station in Lyon and part of the interior of d’Oran cathedral. The inspiration for his Orintalist works dates back to his trips to Maghred, having absorbed its rich culture, the sights and sounds made an indelible impression on this young and gifted painter. On his return he recreated these slackly academic yet exotic scenes using artifacts and models based on his sketches.

In the latter part of his career he had many commissions for large panels painted in a large scale and this subsequently had become a specially prize example of his work in many museums of art exhibiting Orientalist paintings.

Notably the museums of Amiens: Arab Woman Thinking

Bayonne: Bacchante Bordeaux: MBA

Daphne: Chateauroux Venus making fun of love Limoges Tenderness and indifference

Lyons: Saadia

Paris (Museum d’Orsay): Mme Claude Vignon

Tarbes: Portrait of Madame X

Tourcoing:  Arab woman

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