Michel Robin was born in the wealthy suburb of Rueil Malmaison on the western outskirts of Paris in 1928. From a young age he showed great artistic talent. His father, Georges Charles Robin, was a successful Post-Impressionist painter and Michel began his artistic training under his father's expert tutelage.
Michel Robin travelled across France in pursuit of his art. Enthralled by the enchanting river valleys of rural France, it was the Dordogne region and the Loire River Valley that particularly caught the young artists' attention.
Michel’s father was a master of painting en plein air, following the practice of the Impressionists and the two artists would often paint side by side outdoors on their many visits into the countryside. Growing up with this artistic influence and learning the Post-Impressionist techniques first hand from his father, Michel Robin was able to capture the very essence of French rural life through his atmospheric handling of brush and palette. Michel Robin's technique was more stylised than his fathers; he built up his landscapes with thick brushstrokes of blocks of colour over heavily outlined forms, finished with a delicate rendering of trees and grasses, often using a palette knife.
La Bréville, Charente
Painted outside the town, Michel Robin captures the stillness of the canal in the unblemished reflection in the foreground, broken only by the small stream of water flowing through the sluice gate. Morning sunlight flows into the scene and one can imagine the calming splashing of water enveloping the senses.
L'Indre, près de Loches
The Loire Valley was one of Michel Robin's favourite locations in which to paint with his father. The two artists painted side by side on the banks of the River Indre on many occasions, perfectly capturing the winding river with its picturesque river basin. Often the two artists depicted scenes that were almost identical however the block shading of the poplar trees and the linearised banks of the River Indre reveal Michel Robin's identifiable style.
Known as "The Venice of Berry", Argenton-sur-Creuse is a picturesque historic market town in central France, situated just south of the Loire Valley. Michel Robin rarely painted urban landscapes, preferring the quiet and calm of an empty riverbank, however the stunning historic buildings reflected in the River Creuse captured his artistic sentimentality on this occasion.
L'Yonne à Mailly-le-Ville
Michel Robin charmingly captures a tranquil morning on the banks of a canal in this exquisite oil painting. Today a popular stopping point for visitors on tours of the French rivers, Mailly-le-Ville is situated on the River Yonne, a tributary to the Seine which flows south east from Paris into Burgundy. With the town as a backdrop, Michel Robin captures the stillness of the canal in the unblemished reflection in the foreground. Animated by the fisherman, his wife and young child on the riverbank, the composition perfectly captures the tranquillity of everyday life on the banks of the Yonne.