Friday, December 14, 2012

Bussière, Gaston

oil on canvas
117 x 90 cm
Musee des Ursulines, Macon, France

Gaston Bussiere (1862 - 1928) was a French Symbolist painter and illustrator. He was born in Cuisery, a town in Normandy, France. He studied at l'Academie des Beaux-Arts in Lyon before entering the ecole des beaux-arts de Paris. He was awarded the Marie Bashkirtseff prize in 1884.

Bussiere was greatly influenced by the works of his contemporaries, especially Gustave Moreau who was a French Symbolist painter. Bussiere worked with Gustave Moreau and Czech painter Alphonse Mucha. His works were also greatly inspired by the theater works of William Shakespeare, the musics of composers Richard Wagner and Berlioz.

Bussiere used French legends and Nordic myths in many of his paintings, which lent themselves to the illustrations he created for many books of his day. He became in demand as an illustrator, creating works for major authors. He illustrated Honore de Balzac's Splendeurs et miseres des courtisanes published in 1897, Emaux et camees, written by Theophile Gautier, as well as Oscar Wilde's Salome. He also illustrated several works by Flaubert. Many of his works are on exhibit at the Musee des Ursulines in Macon.