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Charles Jacque was a primary and influential member of the Barbizon School or "Men of 1830". His strong, realistic yet sensitive depiction of shepherds and their flocks form one of the most cohesive and important bodies of work produced by the movement. Born in Paris, Jacque began his training, not in painting but in etching, as an apprentice to a map engraver. In this area, Jacque was unsurpassed among his colleagues in the Barbizon School. After military service, he went to England where he worked as an engraver for La Charivari. Returning to France after two years abroad, he made his Salon debut in 1833 and regularly contributed paintings every year until 1870. Winning medals for both etching and painting, he was awarded the Legion d'honneur in 1867.
During the 1840s, he and his friend Millet moved to the village of Barbizon, where they felt they cou1d more realistically portray nature. He was also involved in non-artistic activities, such as land speculation and poultry breeding (about which he wrote a book, Le Poulailler, monographie des poules indigences et exotiques, published in 1848), which kept him from fully devoting his life to art. However, even with his outside interests, Jacque continued to produce a great many works in the two mediums of painting and etching. Employing a new and more vigorous style helped make him a popular artist with many patrons in the Lowlands, the British Isles and the United States.
Hermitage Museum, Leningrad
Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston, MA
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, CA
Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, Williamstown, MA