Joseph Caraud (1821-1905)

Joseph Caraud (1821-1905) attended the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and studied under Alexandre de Pujol, a former student of Jacques Louis David. However, even before attending there, Caraud had already exhibited his works at the Salon and was quite successful. Caraud's paintings are in the 18th century style and are reminiscent of the works of Fragonard, Greuz and Watteau. His works stood out as they did not follow the new style of realism that had taken over France. Instead of pastoral scenes painted in dark colours, Caraud painted domestic scenes with vivid light and warm colours. His historical depictions capture the upper classes and bourgeois of the Louis XV era in highly detailed interior scenes. Between 1848-1851 he frequently painted maidservants, Algerian scenes and figures from Italian operattas. His works were popular amongst the upper classes and soon were copied so that anyone could own a Caraud. Caraud's depictions of pretty women and cats are a reflection of the times. Victorians were just opening their homes to pets as a symbol of their control over nature and the lower classes. In 1867 he was awarded the Chevalier de la Legion d'Honneur. He also participated in the 1889 Exposition Universalle in Paris where he earned a bronze medal. Caraud continued his involvement in the Parisian Salons until 1902 when he exhibited Jardin des Tuileries (Tuileries Garden) for his final show. He died in 1905, the exact date in unknown.