Marie Cazin

1844Paimbœuf, France | 1924Équihen-Plage, France

French painter and sculptor.

Marie Cazin was born to a family of artists: her father was painter and draughtsman Louis Claude Aristide Guillet (1820-1881) and her mother Clarice Marie Brault (1820-after1882). She studied with Juliette Peyrol Bonheur (1830-1891), the sister of Rosa Bonheur (1822-1899), at the École de Dessin de Paris, then with painter Jean-Charles Cazin (1841-1901), whom she married in 1868. The year they married, J.-C. Cazin was appointed curator of the Musée des Beaux-Arts and professor in Tours, where the couple lived until the start of the war in 1870.
From late 1870 to 1875 M. Cazin lived in England with her husband, joining French sculptors Alphonse Legros (1837-1911) and Jules Dalou (1838-1902). During her stay there she learnt ceramics and worked at the Fulham Pottery near London. In the winter of 1876 the couple travelled to Italy and, after a short stay in Boulogne-sur-Mer, settled in Antwerp, where J.-C. Cazin enrolled in the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. Between 1883 and 1888 M. Cazin spent time with her sister Célie-Caroline Guillet (1857-unknown), a fellow artist who married British painter Arthur Heseltine (1855-1930) and lived in artists’ colonies in Grez-sur-Loing and Fontainebleau. She may also have travelled to Algeria, since she exhibited glazed earthenware Âne d’Algérie [Algerian donkey] at the Salon des Peintres Orientalistes Français in 1899.

Exhibited regularly between 1876 and 1914, M. Cazin’s paintings and sculptures show the influence of her social commitment and private life. Several of her pieces demonstrate her preoccupation with the status of women in their most unassuming roles. This is the case in her paintings Oubliées [The forgotten women, 1890] and Vie Obscure [Obscure life, 1901], as well as in her 1893 bronze bas-reliefs L’Étude (or L’École [Study, or School]) and La Charité (or Visite à l’accouchée [Charity, or Visit to the new mother]).
As the sister-in-law of Dr Henri Cazin, a specialist of children’s bone diseases, she created a monument to doctors Cazin and Perrochaud in Berck (1893), which depicted personifications of Science and Charity dressing a young boy’s wound. Her ties to the Adam and Perrochaud families also led her to design monuments for their tombs in Outreau and Boulogne-sur-Mer. She also made several busts and statues in memory of her husband, as well as the monumental ensemble for his tomb at the Bormes-les-Mimosas Cemetery, in the Var region of France.

After her husband’s death, M. Cazin had to work in order to keep her Parisian studio, taking commissions for decorative pieces for a nursing school (1910) and tapestry cartoons for the Gobelins manufacture (Diana, 1912; Venus, 1913). She spent the last years of her life in her house and studio in the coastal village of Équihen-Plage, Pas-de-Calais.
Thanks to state acquisitions, M. Cazin’s works are prominently featured in a few French museums, including a bust of a young boy, David (1883), in Roubaix and the group Jeunes filles [Young girls, 1886] in Saint-Quentin. Thanks also to a large donation from her sister, since 1925 several sculptures and canvases have been in the collection of the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Tours.

Anne Rivière

Translated from French by Anne Rivière.

Publication made in partnership with musée d’Orsay.
© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions

© Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions
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