Charles Chaplin was a student of Michel Martin Drolling (a French neoclassical painter) at the Paris School of Fine Arts in 1845.
He was appreciated by the Empress Eugenie, who commissioned several paintings from him and asked him to decorate the salon de l'Hémicycle at the Élysée Palace, the Garnier Opera House and the Tuileries Palace. An "official" artist of the Second Empire, he began his career with naturalism and then turned to worldly portraits.
Chaplin also produced landscapes, mainly of Auvergne and Lozère, until 1851 when he devoted himself to portraiture. He then acquired a reputation as an intimate painter of women.
He sent his works to the Salon between 1845 and 1868.
He married Marie Antoinette Jeanne Rüttré on June 21, 1862. They had five children, including the painter Arthur Chaplin.
Of English origin by his father, Charles Chaplin was naturalized French in 1863.
He died on January 20, 1891 in Paris and was buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery.
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