Jean-Charles Cazin

Jean Charles Cazin (French, 1841-1901) was educated in Boulogne-sur-Mer and England before completing his high-school degree in Lille. By 1863, he was living in Paris when he submitted a landscape painting to the Salon des Refusés. He enrolled at the École Gratuite de Dessin, where he studied drawing under Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran (1802-1897), an innovative and unorthodox instructor who had developed his own teaching method based on drawing from memory. Many other young artists were attracted to his teaching style, including Fantin-Latour (q.v.), Alphonse Legros (1837-1911), and Auguste Rodin (1840-1917). Cazin's friendship with his mentor led to a teaching position at the École Spéciale d'Architecture in Paris, and he later became the director of the École de Dessin and curator of the museum in Tours.

In 1871, after the devastation caused by the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71), Cazin and his wife, Marie Guillet, an artist who had studied under Bonheur (q.v.), left for England. During this period he turned to the decorative arts and created ceramics influenced by Japonism. Cazin's pottery served to support his family during this time of postwar economic depression; he would eventually hire his own staff to produce the ceramics that he would then decorate. After travels in Italy and a short stay in Antwerp, he returned to France in 1875 and settled near Boulogne-sur-Mer. There he painted landscapes and the beaches of this coastal town. Cazin received the Légion d'Honneur in 1882, a gold medal at the Universal Exposition of 1889, and a Grand Prix in 1900.