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Lépine was born in Caen. An important influence in his artistic formation was Corot, whom he met in Normandy in 1859, becoming his student the following year.
Lépine's favorite subject was the Seine, which he was to paint in all its aspects for the rest of his life. He participated in the first Impressionist exhibition, held at Nadar's in 1874, although he is generally not considered an Impressionist. His paintings are placid in mood and are usually small in scale. Lépine was awarded the First Prize medal at the Exposition of 1889. He died suddenly in Paris in 1892.