Charles Baugniet

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Charles Baugniet was born in Brussels in 1814.


He attended the Académie Royale des Beaux-Artsin Brussels during 1827-29, where he studied under Joseph Paelinck and Florent Willems. His first attempts at lithography date from 1827, and his reputation grew steadily with the appearance of his first portraits in the magazine L'Artiste in 1833.

Baugniet lived at Sevres and first became known by a collection of three hundred lithographed portaits of distinguished persons.  He became a member of the Ghent Academy in 1836, was appointed designer to the King of Belgium in 1841, Order of Leopold 1843, Officer 1872, Order of Isabel Chatolic of Spain, of Branche-Ernstein of Saxony & of Christ of Portgual.


He collaborated with Louis Huard from 1835-42 in producing a series of portraits of the Belgian House of Representatives - Louis Huard finished only 6 portraits, Baugniet doing the remainder. This was followed in 1836 by a series of 30 portraits of contemporary artists - "Les Artistes Contemporains". Included were portraits of Louis JéhotteLouis GallaitNicaise De KeyserJean-Baptiste MadouEugène SimonisCharles-Louis VerboeckhovenHorace VernetPaul Delarocheand Hippolyte Bellangé.

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 Dickensand the French composer Hector Berlioz. Baugniet also designed the first Belgian postage stamp, brought into circulation on 1 July 1849. The stamp depicted Leopold I of Belgium after a painting byLievin De Winne.

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 professional photographers. Baugniet however concentrated on producing paintings and portraits which displayed the studied elegance of the Second French Empire, a genre that enjoyed great popularity.


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