Born in Lille in 1837 as Charles Auguste Emile Durand, Carolus-Duran was a noted French painter who specialised in portraits. After completing his studies at the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, he received further instruction in Spain and Italy. He later became a teacher himself of such students as John Singer Sargent, Harper Pennington, Irving Wiles, Otto Bacher and James Beckwith. In 1890, a year after receving the Legion of Honour, he was one of a group of artists to help resurrect the Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, along with Puvis de Chavannes, Auguste Rodin, and others. He died in 1917; his work now hangs in galleries around the world.