Charles Emile Jacque was born in Paris in 1813 and died there in 1894. Jacque received his only real training duringa brief apprenticeship to an engraver of maps. The many prints he made, especially during the first half of his career, are at least equal in importance to his painting.
After six years of military service and a visit to the Low Countries he spent two years in England designing woodcuts for illustrations. Returning to Paris he continued working as an illustrator, contributing some caricatures to 'Charivari'. He made his debut at the Salon in 1845 with an etching, showed his first painting there three years later, and won medals in 1861 and 1864. Between 1849 and 1854 he lived at Barbizon, where Rousseau and Millet were his friends, the latter exerting a considerable influence on the development of his style as a painter.
His interest in animals, especially sheep and poultry, evident in the subject matter of his pictures, also led him to studies in animal husbandry and to the composition of a book called 'The Poulterer'.
Jacque was a very successful artist, and his work, which is largely derived from Dutch painting, was especially appreciated in the United States.
From 'French Paintings: A Catalogue of the Collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art', Vol II.