Charles Joseph Frédéric
Charles Joseph Frédéric Soulacroix was born in Montpellier in France on 6 July 1825. He enrolled at the École des Beaux-Arts in September 1845, studying with the sculptors A.A. Dumont (1801-1884) and E.J. Ramey (1796-1852) and the German painter P. Cornelius (1783-1867). The artist won awards for both sculpture and painting and he made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1849.
Soulacroix painted a number of history paintings and he also decorated the dome and six side chapels in Notre Dame Cathedral between 1863 and 1865 at the request of Monseigneur Haffreingue, the Bishop of Boulogne-sur-Mer.
In July 1852 Soulacroix married Giacinta Diofebo in Rome. He worked here after his marriage and also in Parma, Pisa, Livorno and Florence. During this time he perfected his best-known subject matter, scenes depicting 18th Century costumed figures. He greatly excelled in painting these figures in the fashionable salons of Paris and Florence and he showed off his technical skills by painting elegant furniture and the fine silk and satin fabrics of dresses and wall coverings. The lives of the affluent society of the period are beautifully recorded in these exquisite works and they were very popular during the artist’s lifetime.
The artist died on 9 May 1889 in Florence.