Charles Bargue (c. 1826/1827 – April 6, 1883) was a French painter and lithographer who devised a drawing course.
He is mostly remembered for his Cours de dessin, one of the most influential classical drawing courses conceived in collaboration with Jean-Léon Gérôme. The course, published between 1866 and 1871 by Goupil & Cie, and composed of 197 lithographs printed as individual sheets, was to guide students from plaster casts to the study of great master drawings and finally to drawing from the living model.
Among the artists whose work is based on the study of Bargue's plate work are Pablo Picasso and Vincent van Gogh, who copied the complete set in 1880/1881, and (at least a part of it) again in 1890.
Although some sources suggest that Bargue was a student of Gérôme, there is room for doubt. Bargue worked closely with Gérôme and was influenced by his style, which included Orientalist scenes and historical genre. Bargue's last painting was completed by Gérôme and is now conserved in the Malden Public Library, Malden, Massachusetts, USA.
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