Charles-Emile-Auguste Duran (1838-1917) was born in Lille, France, where he received his first artistic training. Going to Paris in 1853, after two years of study with Souchon, 'Carolus-Duran' (as he then began to call himself) painted from the old masters in the Louvre and welcomed freedom from any teacher's constraints.

Serious financial difficulties forced Carolus-Duran's return in 1858 to Lille, where he began his successful career as a portraitist. Additional local support enabled him to return to Paris in 1859-60. Upon his second visit, the artist became close friends with Édouard Manet, Henri Fantin-Latour, and other young painters and art critics who shared his interests in realism and in the painterly traditions of Venetian and Spanish art.

In 1862-66 Carolus-Duran traveled to Italy; he returned briefly to France before leaving for Spain, where he remained until 1868. By 1869 Carolus-Duran had established himself in Paris as a fashionable portraitist. In 1873 he opened a studio for young painters. During his fifteen year existence Carolus-Duran's atelier would be distinguished from other Parisian studios by its small size, by its accessibility to woman students and, most important, by its emphasis on painting rather than drawing. John Singer Sargent and Ramon Casas were among his most talented students.

By the mid 1870s Carolus-Duran had turned from his early realist style to one more concerned with painterly effect. Although primarily a portraitist, Carolus-Duran also painted landscapes, history paintings, ideal nudes, and still-lives. He was extraordinarily successful, and continued to reap honors and financial rewards to the end of his life. He died in Paris in 1917.


"Mrs. William Astor" (1890) Oil on canvas, 212 x 107 cm - 83 1/2 x 42 1/4 in. Metropolitan Museum, New York, USA.

"N.M. Polovtsova" (1876) Oil on canvas, 206 x 124.5 cm - 81.10 x 49.02 in. The Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

"The Assassination" (1865) Oil on canvas, 420 x 280 cm - 165.4 x 110.2 in. Palais des Beaux-Arts, Lille, France.

"Portrait de Mme Neyt" (1871) Oil on canvas, 47 x 62 cm - 18.5 x 24.4 in. Musee des Beaux-Arts, Gand, Belgium.

"A Portrait of Philippe Burty" (1874) Oil on canvas, 40 x 47 cm - 15.7 x 18.5 in. Private collection.

Text source: various.

Related Artists:


Related Terms: Realism.


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