Charles-Francois Daubigny Biography

Charles-Francois Daubigny




Charles-François Daubigny, printmaker and painter, was born in Paris on February 15, 1817 to a family of artists . His father was the landscape painter Edme Daubigny. At the age of nine years old, his mother sent him to live with a caretaker in the village of Valmondois in the Val d'Oise region and he returned to Paris when he has fifteen. To assist his family financially he painted trinkets and clock faces for a clockmaker and later worked at the Louvre as a restorer of old-master paintings. Besides what he learned from his father, he was able to acquire a formal art education in the Paris atelier of the painter Pierre Asthasie Théodore Senties. 

Daubigny was self-sufficient at eighteen years old when he traveled to Italy with fellow artist Henri Mignan. They spent two months exploring the country and upon his return to Paris he reentered Atelier Senties. In 1838, he was accepted in the Salon and by that year he was producing masterful landscape etchings.

In the mid 1840s Daubigny began visiting the village of Barbizon where he could paint in "plein-air" the natural beauty of the French countryside. He became a central figure of the Barbizon School, known for its naturalistic paintings. He has been called one of the greatest landscape painters in 19th century France but he was also one of the first great painter-etchers of that century.

Charles-Francois Daubigny died in Paris on February 19, 1878.