|Died||April 6, 1883|
|Known for||Cours de dessin, a classical drawing course|
|Movement||Orientalist scenes, historical genre|
Charles Bargue (c. 1826/1827 – April 6, 1883) was a French painter and lithographer noted for devising an influential 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, comprised 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. The Charles Bargue Drawing Course is used by many academies and ateliers which focus on Classical Realism. 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.
Bargue was a student of Jean-Léon Gérôme. 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. He travelled extensively through North Africa, and the Balkans, during which time he executed many portraits of local people with meticulous detail.
This extraordinary drawing course has been resurrected in a lithography studio. The plates are available again from the original drawing course as they were proposed to academies in 1875. This set of exceptional lithographs is adopted by international academies of classical art, it will remain the definitive reference for the highest level of teaching.