This canvas is a worthy example of the softly painted landscapes that were Cazin’s hallmark. He employed a delicate pastel palette, similar to those of his friends Bastien-Lepage and Puvis de Chavannes. Cazin earned a first class medal at the Salon of 1880 (purchased by the State Luxemburg Museum,) the Legion d’honneur in 1882, a gold medal at the Paris World’s Fair of 1889, and the Grand Prix at the Paris World’s Fair of 1900.
Cazin, in a handwritten introduction to his 1893 exhibition, wrote of capturing in his work ‘particular discoveries in the view that keep, in each canvas, its hour of day or night, its season, its particular moment next to a neighboring canvas.’ It was his treatment of, and grace in handling, the sky and light that most affected Cazin’s audience at the turn of the last century, and remains his canvases’ most striking feature today. The late-day summer storm in the work here blows through lush farmland; whilst lightning strikes, blue sky can be seen in the distance of the flat plain.
Cazin first visited Holland in 1871 and returned frequently until 1890 when at the height of his fame. Le Moulin is the title of several works by the painter, each however capture a different time of day or temperament of sky.
It is interesting that when the Boston Museum of Fine Arts acquired its Bathers by Cazin, the donor paid 15,000 francs (then a considerable sum) and at the same time paid another 15,000 for three paintings by Monet, demonstrating the standing accorded Cazin by his contemporaries.