One knows well the life and the career of Besnus
who left an invaluable book of memories, published in 1898 and
in which he evokes his artistic activities, his encounters and
his friendships Mes Relations dArtistes, Paris
Very early in his life, his artistic vocation
awakes and his parents authorize him to take drawing lessons with
Auguste Vassort, in Etampes, where the Besnus family settled.
He will always keep for this first Master gratitude and affection.
Later, his passage in the studio of Cogniet will not bring him
any additional knowledge, and he will start without waiting anymore
his career as a painter. He settles in 1851 in Isle Adam where
he becomes acquainted with Julien Dupré, whose impression
on the young beginner is such that, in 1853, Besnus presents himself
as his pupil.
Between 1850 and 1853, he makes repeated stays
in Marlotte, at the Ganne inn. He works on motifs by Chauvel and
J. Laurens side and frequently sees the Barbizonnais
(painters belonging to the Barbizon school).
He discovers the sea during a voyage in Honfleur
in 1857 and meets Français who stays like him in La mere
Toutain inn. But above all, he has the revelation, during a stay
in England in 1859, of the artwork realized by John Crome, a watercolorist.
He begins exhibiting at the Salon in 1859 with
two paintings: Bords du Loiret, effet dautomne and Vue prise
à Gray, printemps, and will expose until 1890 landscapes
of Normandy (he particularly likes the pastures and the horses),
seascapes, often painted in Brittany, sights of the Roman countryside
(he is in Italy around 1860-1862), the surroundings of Paris and
His first etching is published in 1865 by the
Company of Aquafortistes, of which he becomes member the same
year. His engravings are published by Cadart. Besnus is sensitive
to the luminous nuances which sweep space. He has an alert style.
The sale of his studio took place in 1922.
His artworks are exposed in several museums
in France (Grenoble, Pau, Rouen) and in England (London) and also
with the Cabinet des Estampes, with the Bibliothèque Nationale