A talented and observant illustrator, Charles-Paul Renouard chronicled his times in illustrations in the pages of newspapers and magazines published in Paris and London, albums of etchings and lithographs and in paintings. Born in a village in France’s Loire Valley, he moved to Paris at the age of fourteen to work as a house painter. Renouard eventually entered the studio of Isidore Pils (1813 or 1815-1875) at the École des Beaux-Arts in 1868.
With Pils he worked on the decoration of the new Paris Opera and is credited with creating frescoes for the ceiling. He made his Salon debut in 1877 with drawings of actors. His talent as an illustrator was widely praised, and starting in 1875 his work was used by such journals as Paris-illustrée, L’Illustration, le Figaro illustré and La Vie moderne.