The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler

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Charles-Francois Daubigny, 1817-1878

Nationality: French
Date of Birth: 1817.01.15
Place of Birth: Paris
Date of Death: 1878.02.19
Place of Death: Paris


Charles-Francois Daubigny was a landscape painter and printmaker. His father Edmond-François Daubigny was a pupil of Jean-Victor Bertin and painted historic landscapes and city scenes. C.-F. Daubigny's son Karl was also a painter.


Daubigny studied under his father and Jacques-Raymond Brascassat, and was greatly influenced by the seventeenth century Dutch landscape painters, e.g. Jacob van Ruisdael, whose work he copied in the Louvre. He also became apprenticed to an engraver, and made his début at the Salon in 1838 with an etching, View of Notre-Dame-de-Paris and the Ile Saint-Louis. JW may have seen some of his etchings in the new department of lithographs and etchings at the Musée du Luxembourg in Paris in the mid 1850s.

Daubigny became close friends with the landscape painter Jean-Baptiste- Camille Corot, with whom he painted in the Dauphiné and in Switzerland in 1852. From the mid-late 1850s, using Jules Breton's boat 'Le Botin', which had been converted into a studio, he painted on the Seine, the Marne and the Oise, en plein air, using rapid, fluid brushwork in order to capture changing atmospheric conditions, a practice which would significantly impact Claude Monet, but which was criticised by critics such as Théophile Gautier (e.g. Evening on the Oise, 1863; Taft Museum, Cincinnati).

Daubigny exhibited at the Salon until 1868. His pupils included Eugène Boudin and Johan Barthold Jongkind.

In 1870 Daubigny fled to London to escape the Franco-Prussian War and the following year introduced Camille Pissarro and Monet to his art dealer Paul Durand-Ruel, also JW's dealer, who was then in London.


Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Pauchet-Warlop, Laurence, 'Charles-Francois Daubigny', The Grove Dictionary of Art Online, ed. L. Macy, (accessed 11 October 2002); Moreau-Nélaton, E., Daubigny raconté par lui-même, Paris, 1950; Henriet, F., C. Daubigny et son oeuvre gravé, Paris, 1875; Laran, J., Daubigny, Paris, 1913; Fidell-Beaufort, M., The Graphic Art of Charles-François Daubigny, 2 vols, dissertation, Institute of Fine Art, New York University, 1974; Bailly-Herzberg, J., and M. Fidell-Beaufort, Daubigny: La Vie et l'oeuvre, Paris, 1975.