Born in Samer in the Pas-de-Calais region of France, Cazin trained at the Ecole Gratuite de Dessin in Paris under Horace Lecoq de Boisbaudran. He was deeply impressed by Boisbaudran’s method, which stressed the importance of heightening perception through painting from memory. Cazin’s early works were influenced by the Barbizon School but in the early 1880s, responding to the mural schemes of Pierre Puvis de Chavannes, he began working in tonal, pastel colours, lightening his palette. He painted a number of atmospheric moonlit landscapes in the area around Equihen, where he rented a summer cottage. He was especially known for his views of uninhabited village streets or deserted squares, often illuminated by a single light.