Charles-François Daubigny was born February 15, 1817 in Paris.
His father, Edme-François was a painter and decorator and also enjoyed composing the occasional landscape. His uncle Pierre, Edme-François’ brother, was also an artist: draftsman, painter and miniaturist. His aunt Amélie, Pierre’s wife, was also a miniaturist. The three of them were well known for their talent and had access to exhibitions.
The Daubigny’s were all skilled, talented and brave and though this period was lean, good spirits reigned. This family circle forged the character of little Charles-François , who, from his youngest age was in poor health. He was placed in a foster family in Valmondois, in the countryside, where he stayed until the age of 9 and it was there that he learned to love nature.
When he returned to his parents’ house, in Paris, he attended school but as soon as he felt ill, he was kept at home. Immersed in an artistic world, his favorite hobby was to cover paper sheets with drawings. Over time, his drawings developed and he became skilled at drawing even before learning how to write. Less and less interested by school he preferred the ‘school of life’. From the age of fifteen he decorated candy boxes, jewelry boxes, clock faces and fan bases, which allowed him to provide financial support to his family.