Jean-Charles Cazin, French painter, engraver and ceramist, was born in 1841 in Pas-de-Calais.
Son of a doctor, he decided not to follow the voice of his father and shows very early his taste for the arts. He is first of all the landscape artist of his native Picardy. The luminous atmosphere of the North influenced his work and marked the great biblical canvases that he would later execute.
In 1860, after passing his baccalaureate in Lille, he moved to Paris and joined the Lecoq de Boisboudran School of Drawing. There he met Fantin-Latour, Legros, Ribot and Rodin, with whom he developed a great friendship that led to a joint work for the Bourgeois de Calais in 1885.
Jean-Charles Cazin became a professor of drawing at the École spéciale de dessin d’architecture from 1863 to 1868, when he was appointed curator of the Musée de Tours, until 1871, when he became director of the École des Beaux Arts.
From 1891, Jean-Charles Cazin moved between the Var and the Pas-de-Calais. His work includes many paintings in bistre, two of which are preserved in Bormes. Characterized by simplified lines and a very bare palette, his works are inspired by the landscapes of the coastline of Northern France, his village Equhien in the Pas-de-Calais and the valleys of Bormes les Mimosas.
The artist is little known to the general public and rarely exhibited, particularly in the southern half of France. This collection bears witness to the different stages of the painter’s career, who first devoted himself to biblical and mythological representations, then turned to landscape painting.
Jean-Charles Cazin died on March 17, 1901 in Lavandou, then a fishermen’s district of Bormes. According to the wishes he had expressed during his lifetime, he rests in the small cemetery at the foot of the Saint-François de Paul chapel in the village of Bormes.