Controversial, famous and extremely popular, painter Charles Joshua Chaplin would occasionally see his sensual and somewhat erotic paintings of women banned from public display.
He had studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts under Michel Martin Drolling beginning in 1849. Within only a few years he was exhibiting in the Salons as well as the Royal Academy in London, and won quick popularity for his early Realist landscapes. Soon after he started exhibiting however, he transitioned primarily to portraits of women, children and animals. While the work was extremely well received, some of his paintings were viewed unfavorably for their heavy elements of eroticism. The controversy surrounding his works faded quite quickly, and Chaplin became a favorite of Napoleon among other members of the nobility.
He worked not only as a painter during his professional career, but also as an engraver and etcher, lithographer and decorator, and was well respected for his abilities in teaching art.
He received a great deal of acclaim and was awarded many medals. He was elected a Chevalier of the Legion d'honneur and made an officer a few years later. He had fought to gain French citizenship for most of his life, having been born to an English father, and finally received his citizenship in 1886, only five years before his death.
His works are in several major museums, including the Bowes Museum in the United Kingdom and the Hermitage in St. Petersburg, Russia.