Charles-Francois Daubigny was a French painter associated with the Barbizon school. He is often considered having a pivotal role as a precursor of the impressionist movement, influencing young and soon-to-be-famous impressionist painters, such as Paul Cezanne and Claude Monet.
Charles-Francois Daubigny was born in Paris, in February 1817. He was born into a family of artists, as his aunt and uncle were miniaturists and his father, Edmond-Francois Daubigny, a classical painter, who was also Charles’ first teacher. In 1835, Daubigny made a trip to Italy to study and produce art, as it was customary to young artists of the period. Still, Daubigny’s future direction went towards the Dutch landscape painting. Three years later, he became a student under the academic painter Paul Delaroche.
Although he was a recognized painter, exhibiting at the Salon from 1838 on, much of Daubigny’s income came from graphic art, such as woodcuts, etchings, illustrations, and lithographs. Daubigny initially painted in a traditional style, but this would change after he settled in Barbizon in 1843, to work outside in nature. Even more important to such change was his meeting with Camille Corot in 1852. Gustave Courbet would become a significant influence on Daubigny. He would turn his home boat into a studio, where he painted along the rivers Seine and Oise and often in the region of Auvers.
In 1866 Daubigny traveled to England, eventually returning due to the Franco-Prussian war in 1870. In London, he would meet Claude Monet, who accompanied him to the Netherlands. Back in Auvers, he also meets Paul Cézanne, another distinguished Impressionist painter. Both Monet and Cezanne were rather young at the time, and it is assumed that Daubigny had influenced them in many ways, Monet would even build his studio in a boat because of such. Daubigny played an important role, serving as a bridge between the once-popular but fading Barbizon school and the more original and audacious Impressionist school.
Among Daubigny’s pupils and followers are his son Karl, who also became a skilled painter, Achille Oudinot, Albert Charpin, Pierre Emmanuel Damoye, and Hippolyte Camille Delpy. Charles-Francois Daubigny died in Auvers, on February 21, 1878.
Most of Daubigny’s artwork in public collections are in Netherlandish museums, such as the Mesdag Collectie, Museum de Fundatie, and the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam. in the united states, the Cincinnati art museum holds some of Daubigny’s artwork.