Gaston Roullet

Etretat – The Artists – Roullet, Gaston

This page forms part of a series of pages dedicated to the many artists who worked in Etretat. A full list of all the artists with a link to their works can be found at the bottom of this page.

Gaston Roullet
Gaston Roullet

Movement: –

Marie Anatole Gaston Roullet (1847 – 1925), is a French painter and illustrator, appointed official painter of the Colonies and the Navy in 1885. He is the father of the playwright and theater and cinema director Jacques Roullet (1878-1946) and the uncle of the painter Marie-Therese Dethan-Roullet (1870-1945).

Son of Marie Zelie Boullineau and Auguste Roullet, court clerk, Marie Anatole Gaston Roullet was a pupil of Jules Noel, whose daughter, Marie-Caroline, he married in 1874. He ended up falling out with Jules Noel, wanting to prohibit frequenting gambling halls.

Roullet was known for his landscapes and cityscapes, often capturing the bustling energy of Paris in his paintings. He was influenced by the works of the Impressionist painters, including Monet and Pissarro, and his work features light, color, and movement.

In addition to his paintings, Roullet was also a prolific illustrator and lithographer, contributing illustrations to magazines and books. He was also an active member of the Salon des Indépendants and participated in several exhibitions throughout his career.

Appointed painter to the Navy and the departments of the Colonies, Roullet took part in the military campaigns of Tonkin in 1885 and 1886 with an artistic mission given by the State to execute drawings; then he left for Tunisia (1889-1890), New Caledonia (1889), Senegal and Sudan (1891).

He became the correspondent for Le Monde Illustre for which he executed scenes from Africa, Oceania, Indochina and Canada, but also inspired by many sites on the coasts of Brittany and Normandy.

Click here to read Roullet’s bio on Wikipedia (in French only).

NOTE: Click on any image below for a bigger version (no new window will open).

NOTE: A black box like this one, means that there is an explanation text about today’s situation of the painting above it.
NOTE: Click on this photo icon anywhere below a painting to see a photo of what the area looks like today.

NOTE: A blue box like this one, means there is an explanation or a note.

1833 - Gaston Roullet - Etretat
1833 – Gaston Roullet – Etretat

TODAY: The Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde chapel (built in 1854) on the cliff is still there. It is a seamen’s chapel, but was greatly destroyed in WWII by the Germans and rebuilt in 1950.

???? - Gaston Roullet - Coastal landscape, Etretat
???? – Gaston Roullet – Coastal landscape, Etretat

TODAY: The arch you see is the Porte d’Aval, the most visible of three sea arches at Etretat. It lies to the left of the Etretat beach.

???? - Gaston Roullet - The laundresses in Etretat
???? – Gaston Roullet – The laundresses in Etretat

Gaston Roullet painted all over the world, but here are the places he painted in France (a link “⇠” will appear next to each place when published):

Etretat is the second most popular and visited place in Normandy (the first being Mont Saint-Michel). And since it was popular, many artists came here to be inspired by its nature and scenic environments. Here is a list of artists who worked in Etretat (a link “⇠” to their work will appear when published).

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Today: The Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde chapel on top of the cliffs
Today: The Notre-Dame-de-la-Garde chapel on top of the cliffs
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Today: Porte d'Aval as seen from the cliffs
Today: Porte d’Aval as seen from the cliffs
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