Charles Baugniet

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Biography of Charles Baugniet ( 1814-1886 )

Charles Baugniet  was a Belgian painter, lithographer and aquarellist born in 1814 in Bruxelles.
He attended the Academy of Fine Art in Brussels during 1827-29, where he studied under Joseph Paelinck and Florent Willems. His first attempts lithography date from 1827, and his reputation grew steadily with the appearance of his first portraits in the magazine “L’Artiste” in 1833.
He collaborated with Louis Huard  from 1835-42 in producing a series of "Portraits of the Belgian House of Representatives".
This was followed in 1836 by a series of 30 portraits of contemporary artists - “Les Artistes Contemporains” included portraits of Louis Gallait, Jean-Baptiste Madou, Eugène Simonis, Charles-Louis Verboeckhoven, Nicaise De Keyser, Horace Vernet, Paul Delaroche and Hippolyte Bellangé.
He was commissioned to do portraits of the Belgian Royal Family, and this led to his appointment as court painter in 1841.
In 1843 he moved to London where he became a leading society portrait painter, creating a portrait of Prince Albert in 1851. Later, he often returned to London to do portraits of celebrities such as Charles Dickens and the French composer Hector Berlioz.
Baugniet settled in Paris in 1860. Almost overnight the invention and development of photography strangled the traditional market of lithographic portraits, forcing many of Baugniet's colleagues to become concentrated on producing paintings of genre scenes and portraits which displayed the studied elegance of the Second French Empire, a genre that enjoyed great popularity.

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