Nicolas Toussaint Charlet

Painting, Visual Artist

1792 – 1845

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Who was Nicolas Toussaint Charlet?

Nicolas Toussaint Charlet, French designer and painter, more especially of military subjects, was born in Paris.

He was the son of a dragoon in the Republican army, whose death in the ranks left the widow and orphan in very poor circumstances. Madame Charlet, however, a woman of determined spirit and an extreme Napoleonist, managed to give her boy a moderate education at the Lycée Napoléon, and was repaid by his lifelong affection.

His first employment was a minor post in the Paris city administration, where he had to register recruits: he served in the National Guard in 1814, fought bravely at the Barrière de Clichy, and, being thus unacceptable to the Bourbon party, was dismissed from the city administration in 1816. He then, having from a very early age had a propensity for drawing, entered the atelier of the distinguished painter Baron Gros, and soon began issuing the first of those lithographed designs which eventually brought him renown.

His "Grenadier de Waterloo", 1817, with the motto "La Garde meurt et ne se rend pas", was particularly popular. It was only towards 1822, however, that he began to be successful in a professional sense.

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Dec 20, 1792
  • France
Oct 30, 1845

on July 23, 2013


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