Charles Lenoir was born near La Rochelle and was the son of a customs officer and a seamstress. He took an interest in art early in his life, but knew that his parents would not support such a vocation, so he decided to become a teacher. However he could not overcome his desire to study art and saving enough money he moved to Paris in 1883 and took with him a letter of recommendation from Bouguereau's uncle. He was accepted into the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris and became a pupil of Bouguereau and Robert-Fleury. He made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1887, exhibiting mainly portraits at first, but focusing later on genre scenes and mythological subjects and experimenting with a number of different styles. However he soon devoted himself to academic painting, refining the techniques of his teacher Bouguereau. It was in this style that he ultimately built his reputation. His paintings came to reflect those academic values of accurate colour, contour and smooth paint surfaces. An extract from a review of the 1923 Paris Salon recorded, 'The paintings of this charming artist are extremely delicate and original. His palette is rich, warm and bright. A painter of feminine beauty, he is one of the more imaginative and sensible interpreters of feminine grace. He renders the look or feminine smile of his sitters with exquisite subtlety… we do not evaluate a painting by Charles Lenoir, we simply love it.' Throughout his artistic career, Lenoir exhibited his works in several venues and received considerable recognition for his art. From 1887 until 1926 he exhibited at the Paris Salon, receiving numerous medals and he was awarded the Chevalier de la Légion d'honour in 1903. Lenoir's works can be found in numerous museums in France, amongst them La Rochelle, Saintes, Rochefort, National School of Fine Arts, Paris, Niort and Cognac.