The painter, original etcher, copperplate engraver, lithographer and woodcutter Charles-Émile Jacque was born on 23rd May 1813 in Paris. In 1830, he began an apprenticeship with a map engraver, but in the same year, joined the army and took part in the siege of Antwerp. During this period, he executed his earliest work "Militariana", a dry point engraving of a landscape in Antwerp’s surroundings, as well as a series of lithographs of humorous military pictures and the sketches for the "Histoire de la Ramée, ex-fusilier de l’armée français…, racontée et dessinée par Ch. Jacque, excaporal..." woodcuts.
In 1835, he was released from military service and began training himself as an artist. He travelled frequently around Burgundy, where his family had lived since 1830, and the impressions of nature, and the idyllic scenery of the Burgundy villages and their surroundings played a decided influence on his work. In 1836, the artist stayed in London for 20 months. He drew the designs for the woodcut illustrations in an edition of Shakespeare’s works. He also completed illustrations for the "Grèce Pittoresque" and for English journals.
After returning to Paris, Charles-Émile Jacque contributed illustrations to the famous issue of "Paul et Virginie", as well as publications such as "Lea Français peints par eux-mêmes", "La Pléiade", "Jardin des Plantes", "Chansons de Béranger", "Bretagne illustré" and others. In 1843-44 he drew caricatures for Charles Phillipe’s "Charivari", including the series "Les Malades et les Médecins".
Charles-Émile Jacques main achievements were, however, his etchings. His realistic representations of nature referenced the work of the 17th century Dutch masters he so admired. His main subjects were flocks of sheep. His representations of animals were particularly impressive and his works became very valuable. From 1845, Charles-Émile Jacque began executing an increasing number of paintings. He undertook long study trips with Jean-Français Millet (1814–75) und Théodore Rousseau (1812–67) in Barbizon, where he became a member of the artists’s colony the "School of Barbizon". The artist also exhibited paintings and etchings in various Parisian Salons during this period, as well as in Munich and Vienna. Jacque did not frequently exhibit works publicly. In 1861 he exhibited his painting "Herd in a landscape" in the Paris Salon.
Charles Émile Jacque died on 7th May 1894 in Paris.