Jean-Charles Cazin 1841-1901
N04365 Ulysses after the Shipwreck c.1890-2
Inscribed 'J.C. CAZIN.' b.r.
Oil on canvas, 28 7/8 x 23 1/2 (73 x 59.5)
Presented by Arthur R. Anderson through the NACF in memory of his father David Anderson of David &
John Anderson, Glasgow, 1927
Prov: David Anderson, Glasgow, by 1906; David Anderson sale, Christie's, London, 13 May 1927, lot 4; bt. in at £180; Arthur R. Anderson, Glasgow
Exh: Notable Paintings by the Masters of the Barbizon School and Others, Raeburn Gallery, London, November-December 1927 (31)
Lit: Gustave Soulier, 'Jean-Charles Cazin' in Art et Décoration, IX, 1901, p.154; Léonce Bénédite, Jean-Charles Cazin (Paris 1902), p.29
On the way back from Troy, Ulysses' ship was destroyed by Zeus and all the crew were drowned. Ulysses saved himself by means of the mast and planks, and after ten days reached the island of Ogygia, inhabited by the nymph Calypso. She received him kindly and wanted him to marry her, but Ulysses could not overcome his longing for his own home.
According to Soulier, Cazin was greatly attracted by the notion of vast suites of legendary and decorative compositions, and left considerable series of studies relating to entire cycles on 'Joan of Arc', on 'Ulysses' and on 'Judith'. 'Several of these projects have even been carried out, and are complete or almost finished'. However, no other paintings of Ulysses have so far been traced.
The setting of the present work is probably the coast at Equihen near Boulogne. Cazin lived there by the sea and painted a number of pictures of the dunes, also using the countryside thereabouts as a setting for many of his subject pictures. The model for Ulysses appears to have been his son Michel Cazin (1869-1917), a designer of medals, sculptor, ceramist and engraver. He seems here to be aged at least twenty.
David Anderson, from whose collection this picture comes, owned at least three other paintings by Jean-Charles Cazin, including one, 'The Dunes', which he lent to an exhibition in Glasgow as early as 1888.
Ronald Alley, Catalogue of the Tate Gallery's Collection of Modern Art other than Works by British Artists, Tate Gallery and Sotheby Parke-Bernet, London 1981, p.98, reproduced p.98