13 February 2024

Paintings by Charles-Henry's grandfather

Here are some examples of Charles-Henri Michel's paintings. He was my friend Charles-Henry's grandfather. Charles-Henri was born in 1817 and died in 1905. Charles-Henry was born in 1924 in Paris and passed away on February 2, 2024, in Arlington VA at age 99. I met Charles-Henry in Washington DC in 1983. I worked with him for 4½ years, and we remained friends for the rest of his life.

Le trio (1889) by Charles-Henri Michel has been part of
the collections of the Péronne museum for many
years. A cousin of Charles-Henry's donated it to the
museum some 50 or 60 years ago.

Joan of Arc in her prison in Rouen, a pen-and-ink drawing
from about 1900 by Charles-Henri Michel. Donated in July 2010
by the artist's grandson to the Musée des Beaux Arts in the city of Rouen, in
Normandy, where Joan of Arc was burned at the stake in 1431.

Portrait of Joan of Arc (ca. 1900) by Charles-Henri Michel.
It has has been part of the collections of the Péronne museum
since 1951. It is hanging on a wall over a staircase in the
museum, and my photo shows reflections of the banister,
as well as of other paintings displayed nearby.

A portrait (ca. 1900) of Charles-Henry's first cousins Geneviève et André
Michel by Charles-Henri Michel, donated by Charles-Henry to the
museum in Péronne in July 2010. The artist was
about 83 years old when he painted this.

Portrait of an angel, date unknown, by Charles-Henri Michel.
Donated to the Péronne museum in July 2010 by the artist's grandson Charles-Henry.

Christ au tombeau (1882) by Charles-Henri Michel. On display
in Saint John's church (L'Eglise St-Jean) in Péronne since 1951.
Charles-Henry told me that his father, Dr. Paul Michel, then in his early 20s,
was the model for this painting.


  1. Really difficult to come up with
    the appropriate superlative for
    these masterpieces. I'm sure
    CHM's relief at seeing his
    possessions safely housed in
    museums was tinged with sadness
    at relinquishing them. Is Michel
    prounced with a hard "ch"? Looking
    forward to more posting about the
    trip...explanation for all the red

  2. These works simply take my breath away. Thank you, Ken and CHM, for sharing them with us. I especially love the first one, and the family portrait.


  3. Wonderful paintings and drawings. Charles-Henri Michel is incredibly talented. I particularly like the angel in the round frame and the portrait of the children.

  4. Thank you! Such marvelous delicacy. It's so kind of CHM to donate these to a museum. I supposed he loved them close at hand for a long time before he felt able to give them up.

  5. Once again, thank you all for your kind words of appreciation.

    Sheila knew exactly how I felt and am still feeling: "I'm sure CHM's relief at seeing his possessions safely housed in museums was tinged with sadness at relinquishing them."

    Michel is pronounced as mee-shell.

  6. Beautiful work and very generous gift from CHM. I would love to know if CHM has the same talent for painting or writing maybe?

  7. Hi Nadège,

    Unfortunately, neither one!

  8. If you Google Charles-Henri Michel, the only things that come up are links to your site. How curious so little is know about such a great artist.

  9. One finds a reference to Charles-Henri MICHEL in the article dedicated to Henri HERLUISON, curator of Orléans art museum, he published an essay related to "our" painter :


    "«Michel (Charles-Henri), artiste peintre ». Bulletin de la Société archéologique et historique d’Orléans, XIV, 181, 1905."

    Moreover, one can admire lots of paintings (more accurately, 31 paintings) by Charles-Henri MICHEL on the site of our French "Ministère de la Culture ; among which one can mention :
    "Les bacchantes" (lieu de conservation Péronne, musée Alfred Danicourt Numéro d'inventaire 1951.K.30 ; K30 (Ancien numéro)
    Notice complète N° 6755). "Autoportrait de de Charles-Henri Michel", " Les deux orphelines", "Jésus au Jardin des Oliviers", "L'exilé de la patrie céleste"... See this link :


    There is a second link which is related to the "base" called "Joconde" and which contains a "catalogue of the works of art which can be seen in French museums :

    Archéologie, beaux-arts, arts décoratifs, ethnologie, histoire, sciences et techniques"


    This last link seems to be very useful when one is looking for a work of art shown in a French museum :


    Voilà ! Bises :-) Mary/Marie (Normandy)

  10. Hmm, I didn't see you had already posted the link, so sorry, Ken !!!

  11. I haven't commented but want to say that I've found these past posts to be wonderful. I didn't realize that your grandfather was such a remarkable man, CHM and am so happy that others will be able to enjoy his paintings now.

    This is especially gratifying since his village suffered so in WWI. Luckily his work will survive leaving pictures of a bygone time before digital cameras which give us instant images and movies which tell stories.

    My favorite paintings are the ones of local people although I find the one of Jesus modeled by CHM's father unique and emotional.

  12. The Creation of Adam can be found on the ceiling of the famous Sistine Chapel in Rome. This famous painting was created by Michelangelo, who began working on the painting begun in the year 1508 and ended in 1512. The painting was commissioned by Pope Julius II. The Creation of Adam is one of the most popular works of art during the High Renaissance. http://www.wahooart.com

    1. You took the wrong turn at the intersection; we're not talking about Michelangelo and Rome, but about a Picard painter and a small museum in Picardy, in Northern France. Spam is your comment, and a disguised commercial completely off topic.

  13. Great art is born of genius. It is a gift to the world. It makes man immortal, as it outlives everyone from beggars to Kings. The Michel family are a blessing to humanity. They have given us an interminable gift that will bring Joy and spiritual peace not just for today, but also for those who follow us tomorrow. I have had the great honor and pleasure of discussing CHHM’s paintings with one of his remarkable grandson’s, Charles Honri Michel. He, like all the members of the family, is a passionate lover of art and life. I shall cherish our correspondence to my last breath. So here you see; the art, the gifts, the legacy. Thank You…...Sincèrement, Elliot

    1. Thank you, Elliot, for such a nice comment. It has been also a great pleasure exchanging ideas with you, such an unconditional lover of my grandfather's paintings.

  14. Thank you for reposting these photos of CHM's grandfather's art, Ken, and including past comments from CHM and others. I've just caught up on all the incredibly funny and touching stories about CHM you have related over the past few days. The cardboard box kerfuffle is like a Seinfeld episode! You are honoring your old friend in the best possible way.

  15. What Kiwi said! It's like CHM is back and not really gone.

  16. What Evelyn said. Thank you.

  17. Amazing art.....thank you for sharing.
    Linda from Alabama

  18. I remember being blown away when you first posted these paintings, Ken.

  19. Ken, isn't it true that Charles-Henry and his brother attended the formal ceremony in Peronne when the collection was officially turned over? He described it to me a long time ago, and everyone was so amazed at his computer skills and ability to remain standing during the ceremony, considering his "advanced" age at the time! Please tell us more about the uncle and the pastels. CHM sent me an enormous file he had digitalized and they are beautiful. I printed some off, framed them, and we took them for him to have at his bedside last June when we visited him at the nursing home in Virginia. He was delighted, of course.

    1. Hi Jim, I saw your e-mail a few minutes ago. There was a formal ceremony that Charles-Henry and Pierre attended, along with some of Pierre's daughters, I think. I believe he showed me a local newspaper article about the whole thing. Unfortunately I don't know about their uncle who was the pastellist. I saw some of his works. I think I might have that digitized somewhere on my computer. I'll have to look for it.


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