Charles-François Daubigny was born on February 15, 1817 in Paris. Daubigny was taught how to paint by Paul Delaroches and his father, the landscape painter Edme-François Daubigny. From 1838 Daubigny regularly contributed to exhibitions, but did not reach his full artistic development before 1848, when he received great public acclaim for his landscape paintings, which were some of the first plein air paintings.
From 1843 Daubigny was in contact with the school of Barbizon, without, however, joining them closely. Daubigny's ambition was to liberate the landscape from poetic and subjective additions and to produce an untainted, immediate reflection of nature. According to him, the personal emotions of the painter must not enter the reflection of what is seen.
Later, Charles-François Daubigny got lost in a sketchy style and was content with the depiction of a general impression. In 1852 he met Jean-Baptiste Camille Corot in Cremien (Dauphine), with whom he traveled to Switzerland and France and entertained a life-long friendship.
In 1857 he turned the boat "Le Botin" in Auvers-sur-Oise into a floating studio and traveled along the rivers Seine and Oise. At that time, the subject matter of his paintings completely stopped being anecdotal. He spent the summer of 1865 with Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin and the young Claude Monet in Trouville. From then on, his paintings became lighter and more liberal, shapes began to dissolve in colored harmonies, and he anticipated important elements of Impressionism.
Charles-François Daubigny died in Paris on February 19, 1878.