Chassériau was born in El Limón, Samaná, in Saint Domingue (now the Dominican Republic). His father was a French adventurer who, at the time of Théodore's birth, held an administrative position in what was then a French colony; his mother was the daughter of a Creole landowner. The family moved to Paris in 1821, where the young Chassériau soon showed precocious drawing skill. He was accepted into the studio of Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres in 1830, at the age of eleven, becoming the favorite pupil of the great classicist, who came to regard him as his truest disciple. (An account that may be apocryphal has Ingres declaring "Come, gentlemen, come see, this child will be the Napoleon of painting.")
After Ingres left Paris in...
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