1862 - 1928
Gaston Bussière was a pupil of Cabanel, and then of Puvis de Chavannes, at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He exhibited at the Salon from 1885. He took part in the shows of the Rose+Croix in 1893, 1894 and 1895. He received a bronze medal at the Exposition Universelle in Paris in 1900 and was awarded the Légion d’Honneur in 1917.
At first a painter of esoteric subjects, he moved to pastoral scenes peopled with nymphs and goddesses. He was enthusiastic about a number of literary works and the operas of Berlioz and Wagner, producing both illustrations of them and paintings inspired by them. Several canvases are drawn from Berlioz, such as the Helen of Troy of 1895, and from Wagner; for example, the Rhinemaidens of 1906, which seems to be an illustration of the third act of The Twilight of the Gods ( Crépuscule des Dieux). Among his illustrations are those for: Saint Julien l’Hospitalier 1912, Herodias 1913, Gustave Flaubert’s Salammbô 1921; Honoré de Balzac’s The Outlaws ( Les Proscrits); Anatole France’s Bee ( Abeille); Théophile Gautier’s Enamels and Cameos ( Émaux et camées); E. Gebhart’s The Last Night of Judas ( La dernière nuit de Judas); Nocolette Hennique’s The Twelve Heroic Labours ( Les douze labeurs héroïques); E. Schulze’s The Enchanted Rose ( La rose enchantée).
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Mâcon (Mus. des Ursulines): Helen of Troy (1895); The Rhinemaidens (1906)