Charles Famin French, 1809 -?
The identity of Charles Famin is not entirely clear, although it is known he worked in a Paris studio. He has been confused with a painter of the same name, and his work shares similarities of subject and approach with his contemporary Achille Quinet. From his known body of work, however, it is clear that Famin produced a number of nature studies depicting both woodlands and rural scenes that featured animals or children. These were probably intended as artists' aids.
Famin, whose prints first appeared in 1863, was among the second generation of photographers to work in Fontainebleau and its environs. His images, although sometimes characterized as more sensitive and delicate than those of Quinet, often lack the inquisitive originality of Eugène Cuvelier and other pioneers in the Barbizon genre. Indeed, by the time of Famin, the forest was beginning to risk overdevelopment due to its popularization through tourism and art, with many areas, rock formations, and even individual trees known to the public by endearing, somewhat superficial names. Famin is also believed to have produced architectural photography in Paris and Bourges, as well as a set of recently discovered stereoviews. T.W.F.