Adolf Charlemagne

Adolf Iosifovich Charlemagne, or Sharleman (Russian: Адольф Иосифович Шарлемань; 8 December 1826, Saint Petersburg - 31 January 1901, Saint Petersburg) was a Russian painter of historical, genre and battle scenes. He was also the creator of a popular design for playing cards known as the "Satin Deck".[1]

Adolf Iosifovich Charlemagne
Portrait of the painter Adolf Charlemagne.jpg
Born(1826-12-08)December 8, 1826
DiedJanuary 31, 1901(1901-01-31) (aged 74)
EducationMember Academy of Arts (1859)
Professor by rank (1867)
Alma materImperial Academy of Arts


His father was the architect, Iosif Ivanovich Charlemagne [ru]. His grandfather, the sculptor and decorative artist, Jean-Baptiste Charlemagne-Baudet (1734-1789), was originally from Rouen and had come to Russia to work for Catherine the Great.[2] His brother, Iosif, also became an artist and architect.

He received his primary education at Saint Peter's School, then enrolled at the Imperial Academy of Arts, where he studied history painting with Fyodor Bruni and battle painting with Bogdan Willewalde.[2] While there, he was awarded several silver and gold medals.

The last of these awards, in 1855, carried with it a stipend to study abroad. He went to Munich, where he studied with Alexander Kotzebue, another battle painter. In 1859, he was named an "Academician" for his portrayals of Alexander Suvorov in the Swiss Alps. He then went to Paris and studied the paintings at Versailles. He returned to Saint Petersburg by way of Germany in 1861.

His first paintings after returning were for the Page Corps, followed by ceiling murals at the Meshchersky family mansion in Moscow.[2] In 1867, his portrayal of Catherine the Great in the workshop of Étienne Maurice Falconet earned him the title of Professor. It was acquired by Empress Maria Alexandrovna. For the next twenty years, he worked prolifically to supply the demand for his images; many of which became illustrations in magazines. From 1871, he worked for the Federal State Unitary Enterprise, designing securities, bonds and other negotiables.[2]

Selected paintingsEdit


  1. ^ Brief biography @ House of Cards.
  2. ^ a b c d Brief biography @ Russian Paintings.

External linksEdit

  Media related to Adolf Charlemagne at Wikimedia Commons