DODIN, Charles-Nicolas
(b. 1734, Versailles, d. 1803, Sèvres)


French miniature painter. For nearly half a century Charles-Nicolas Dodin worked as a miniature painter at the porcelain manufactory of Vincennes-Sevrès, where he was considered one of the best artists. The fine quality of his work was early recognized by the managers of the royal manufactory, which meant that there were soon examples of it in the best French and other European collections, including those of Louis XV and the last two royal mistresses, Madame de Pompadour and Madame du Barry, as well as Louis XVI and his brothers Louis Stanislas Xavier, comte de Provence (later Louis XVIII), and Charles Philippe, comte d'Artois (later Charles X).

"Pale-faced and agreeable," Charles-Nicolas Dodin arrived at the Vincennes Porcelain Manufactory when he was only twenty, having first studied military engineering; he was soon described as "having a good talent and making a lot of progress" as a porcelain painter. Like most beginners at the factory, his early works were in monochrome, but he soon graduated to a more complicated polychrome palette. He specialized in painting scenes after François Boucher, landscapes, chinoiseries, and figures. His initial wage of twenty-four livres soon grew, and by the time he was forty, he was earning one hundred livres as one of the factory's highest paid painters. He earned four livres a day for overtime work, as well as bonus payments and an accommodation allowance. By the end of his career, Dodin had become "the most skillful painter in the workshop." A contemporary remembered him as "one of those [painters] who brought the most honour and profit to the manufactory." He always signed his works with the mark K or k.

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