Varanasi, also known as Benares, is a city on the Ganges in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, dating back to the 11th century BC. Considered the spiritual capital of India, Varanasi attracts countless Hindu pilgrims who bathe here in the sacred waters of the Ganges and perform funeral rituals. In the winding streets of the city are about 2,000 temples, including the "Golden Temple " Kashi Vishwanath, dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva.
The author of our painting is French painter Jean Tancrède Bastet (1858 Domene/Isere - 1942 Grenoble).
Bastet attended the École des Beaux-Arts in his hometown, where he was a pupil of the sculptor Aimé Charles Ivory. With his support, Bastet later came to Paris to the École des Beaux-Arts, where he studied with Alexandre Cabanel, among others.
As a master student of Cabanel, he was soon admitted to the major annual exhibitions of the Salon de Paris. In 1885, some of his works were awarded, and he was awarded the prestigious Prix de Rome. Associated with that award was a travel scholarship that Bastet used for longer study trips 1900 as "peintre officiel " of the Ministry of Colonies to Egypt and British-India. Upon his return, he settled in Grenoble and became the director of the Fine Art School. 1900 Chévalier de la Légion d 'Honneur. His paintings, which after 1900 are strongly influenced by his travel impressions, are reminiscent of Manet in the linear determination of the form. Their quality is further determined by fine coloring and light drawing.
In 1919, Bastet was to become –, succeeding the late Jules Bernard – conservator at the Musée de Grenoble. After lengthy controversial discussions, they finally chose Andry-Farcy. From then on, Bastet rejected all offices and public duties and devoted himself only to his artistic work.
Through his friend and colleague Théodore Ravanat, Bastet became acquainted with Jean Achard and joined – with Ravanat – his circle of artists, the École dauphinoise.
Works by Bastet are in museums of GRENOBLE, LYON, VIENNA.
Exhibitions: since 1890 Paris, Salon des Artistes Franç. ( 1891 Med. 3.Cl., 1902 silver Med.) / 1900 Expos. Univ. (Bronze-Med.).
Literature: all in French: Artist lexicon by Benezit; exhibition catalogue „Tancrède Bastet. 1858–1942; peintures. aquarelles, dessins“, La Tronche, Musée Hébert 1985; Maurice Wantellet: Deux siècles et plus de peinture dauphinoise. Grenoble 1987.
Inscriptions: signed by the artist on the back of the panel with French dedication for the artist’s friend : „ a l‘ami H. Gentil. Benares, Janvier 1904. J.Bastet“. Second inscription in English translation: „ Souvenir of M. (Monsieur) Bastet, the painter of the Ministry of the Colonies“.
Technique: oil on panel. Magnificent antique gold-plated frame.
Measurements: unframed w 10 1/2" x h 13 3/4" (35 x 26,6 cm), framed w 22 7/8" x h 19 1/2" (58 x 49,5 cm).
Condition: very good.