Charles Chaplin, After the Ball
Charles Chaplin (1825-1891)

After the Ball, c. 1870

Oil on canvas, H. 0.25 m; W. 0.35 m

Signed lower left: Ch. Chaplin

Provenance: Private collection, France

A painter, draughtsman and printmaker, Chaplin was the son of an English father and French mother and was naturalised French towards the end of his life, in 1886. He trained in the studio of Michel-Martin Drölling at the École des Beaux-Arts. From 1845 to 1891, he exhibited regularly at the Salon and was awarded medals in 1851, 1852 and 1865. He was made a chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1879 and promoted to officier in 1881.

Under Napoleon III and during the Third Republic, Chaplin painted genre scenes most of all, but his portraits were especially popular with the public; in particular his half-length portraits of ladies, sparingly dressed and slightly erotic. The Dream (1857, Marseille, Musée des Beaux-Arts) is among his most famous paintings and shows a girl sleeping, inspired by Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s work. This is an example of the craze for 18th century painting during the 1860s.