Original, oil on canvas, signed

The highly accomplished artist Pierre Outin was born on 26th July 1840 in the town of 
Moulins amid the beautiful surroundings of the Auvergne in central France. About six 
decades after his birth the famous French fashion designer Coco Chanel attended a school 
at Moulins and like Outin before her made the most beautiful creations. Best known for his 
portrayals of dramatic historical genre, fêtes galantes, Orientalist works as well as 
portraits, Outin had a distinctive style in which he combined light and colour with 
sensuality and lyric grace. Like many aspiring artists, Outin travelled to Paris where he 
trained under the landscape and figurative painter Charles Joseph Lecointe (1824-1886) from 
whom he gained a strong understanding for landscape painting as well as elements of the Orient. 
He was also a pupil of the classical and historical painter Alexandre Cabanel (1823-1889) whose 
academic style, historical subjects and fine drawing was to provide the strong grounding for 
Outin’s highly successful career; this was confirmed when he made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1868.

The present oil is an admirable work that epitomizes the strength of Outin’s oeuvre in which he 
portrays a group of elegant ladies in historical costume taking a dip in a river bordering a 
French château. No expense is spared in describing their elaborate clothes, which combined 
with the light hearted narrative and architectural details is a feast for the eyes.

As here, he often portrayed his figures in historical dress, generally from the eighteenth but 
sometimes from the seventeenth century. Such luxurious images, like his fêtes galantes that evoke 
the style of the great eighteenth century master Watteau, dwelt on the finer senses such as love, 
the arts and recreation. Like a number of mid nineteenth century Continental artists such as Jean 
Louis Meissonier or Joseph Frédéric Soulacroix, Outin turned his back on the grand academic 
historical style toward a lighter interpretation of historical genre within a theatrical setting.

In addition to historical genre, Outin painted a number of Oriental views as well as portraits 
including an extremely fine chalk study of Eugène Murer (1841-1906), which is now in the Musée 
du Louvre, Paris. It depicts a head and should study of the bohemian baker come artist and poet 
who was one of Van Gogh’s earliest admirers and owned his still life Fritillaries in a Copper Vase 
(Musée d’Orsay, Paris). Outin established his repute in Paris, which was where he was still living 
when on 30th May 1899 he died at rue de Douai.

26 ¼ x 35 ½ in (67 x 90 cm)

Dimensions: Height: 26¼” (67cm)  | Width: 35½” (90cm)

Price: £68000 | GIL Ref: 0495

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