Louis Charles Bazin was born in Paris in 1802, during the reign of Napoleon. He trained with two of the most prominent French painters of their time: Girodet Triozon, well-known for his paintings of the Napoleonic family, and Gérard, first painter of Louis XVIII and Charles X. Following this apprenticeship, Bazin enjoyed a career as a painter, sculptor, engraver, and lithographer, practising under the name of Charles Bazin, or Bazin le jeune, to distinguish himself from his elder brother, the painter Pierre-Joseph Bazin. He began to exhibit regularly at the Salon du Louvre from the age of 20, where his portraits were praised for their accurate portrayal of the sitter and rich palette.
This half-length portrait of a young man was painted in 1836, during the first decade of the July Monarchy of Louis Philippe I. In its depiction of a lone male figure against an atmospheric natural landscape we can see the influence of the Romantic movement, which began to flourish in French art and literature against a backdrop of political tumult.
Bazin’s work is held in the collection of the Detroit Institute of Art and the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco.