Born in Caen in 1836, Victor Edouard Stanislas Lépine (1836-1892) began his artistic career following the manner of the ship-painter Johan Barthold Jongkind and specialising in the rendering of nautical views such as Sailing Boats in Caen Harbour. In 1855 the painter moved to Paris and in 1859 he made his début at the Salon, exhibiting Port of Caen, Moonlight Effect.
Stanislas Lépine specialised in painting picturesque urban views, recurrently choosing to feature the River Seine and the old streets of Paris. In 1860 Lépine undertook a more professional apprenticeship under the guidance of Jean Baptiste-Camille Corot and during this period met the artist Henri Fantin-Latour (1836-1904).
The friendship between the two artists is documented by the numerous instances in which Fantin-Latour provided Stanislas with financial help. In Corot's studio Lépine developed a personal style that is halfway between the traditional pastoral spirit, characteristic of his master's compositions, and the atmospheric landscapes typical of the impressionists, as epitomised by works such as the 1878 Montmartre, Rue Saint Vincent and the 1880 Le Pont de Mondo (both in the Musée d'Orsay).
Although Lépine never came to equal the popularity of his contemporary colleagues, he was invited to participate to the first Impressionist exhibition in 1874 where he exhibited Banks of the Seine and regularly participated in the Salon during his lifetime (Grove Dictionary of Art). Stanislas Lépine's works were appreciated for both their refined effects of light and for their contemplative moods and are considered by contemporary critics as precursory of the Impressionist movement. | © Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza
LÉPINE, Stanislas - Pittore, nato a Caen il 3 ottobre 1835, morto a Parigi il 28 settembre 1892. Appartenne a quel periodo artistico che a svolse tra il romanticismo e l'impressionismo, e anche le sue composizioni più ampie, del resto rare, rimangono paesaggi di carattere intimo. Il senso dei valori, la delicatezza delle tinte grigie consentono di riattaccarlo al Corot che gli fu maestro e seppe apprezzarlo. Personalissimo nella diversità degli effetti ottenuti, ha dipinto spesso le rive della Senna a Parigi (Pont des Arts, 1884) e i bei cieli grigi lievemente illuminati, che s'incurvano sui tetti e sui ponti. Fra tutti i pittori del sec. XIX è quello che ha più profondamente sentito la poesia provinciale della grande città. | di Hélène M. Castell Baltrusaitis © Treccani, Enciclopedia Italiana