"Charles Jacque 'Charles Emile Jacque': During the 1840's a most important movement began in French art. A number of painters settled in the tiny village of Barbizon and dedicated their art to portrayals of nature and rustic life. Given that the mainstream of traditional French art was still mired in the genres of classical and historical paintings this was indeed a revolutionary step. Barbizon artists gained their inspiration from both the great landscape etchings and paintings of Rembrandt and other Dutch 17th century masters and from the contemporary landscape art of such British artists as Constable and Turner. In its turn, Barbizon etchings and paintings led the way to the beginnings of French Impressionism in the following generation.
Many of the leading artists associated with the Barbizon school were also fine etchers. Within this category one should mention such names as Corot, Millet and Daubigny. Charles Emile Jacque, however, dedicated most of his career to the art of etching and became the most active Barbizon artist in this medium. He is thus considered a major precursor to the French etching revival of the 1860's.
Born in Paris, Charles Jacque began his training as an apprentice engraver to a mapmaker. After finishing his military service he spent several years in London as an artist for the periodical, La Charivari. Charles Jacque exhibited his first work of art at the Paris Salon of 1833. Charles Jacque's earliest etchings date from 1842. Six years later he had completed an astonishing 350 etchings dealing with rustic scenes, animal studies and village life. During this time both Jacque and his close friend, Millet, lived in the village of Barbizon.
In total Charles Jacque created 470 original etchings. His brilliantly rendered scenes of country life influenced an entire generation of 19th century French etching. In 1867 Charles Jacque received the prestigious Legion d'honneur from the French government."