1825 - 1891
The son of an English father and a French mother, Chaplin became a naturalised French citizen in 1886. His delightful paintings of young women have all the charm of works by François Boucher, but a greater sense of truth and realism. A pupil of Drolling, his early style (characterised by portraits and landscapes of great realism and power) was quickly superseded by the more graceful works on which his reputation was founded. His mature style is distinguished by the strength and fluidity of his drawing, and a bright, delicate palette. As a non-native Frenchman, he was unable to qualify for the Prix de Rome, but was awarded a third-class medal by the jury of 1851, a second-class medal the following year, and a first-class medal in 1865. He was made a Chevalier of the Légion d’Honneur in 1879, and an Officer of the same in 1881. Chaplin’s easel paintings were numerous and highly popular; in addition to these, he executed a number of decorative works, notably the ceiling and lunettes of the Salon des Fleurs at the Tuileries Palace in Paris, and a large panel entitled A Dream, for Prince Demidoff. Chaplin’s prints are equally accomplished, characterised by a bold, direct touch and flowing, forceful lines. Most of his etchings are original works, although he also made a small number of copies after Rembrandt, Decamp and Leleux.
Museum and Gallery Holdings
Bayeux: Road in the Auvergne
Bayonne (Mus. Bonnat): Allegorical Figure of Night
Bordeaux: Call in the Heather
Bourges: Pope St Celestine
London (Victoria and Albert Mus.): Fishing; Roses in May
Mulhouse: Young Girl (watercolour); Young Girl (drawing); Primavera; Woman in Pink; Little Girl at Prayer; Woman Bathing
Rheims: Seated Woman
Rouen: Game of Lotto
Saintes: Study for a Portrait (watercolour)
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