1819 – A French painter was born this year in Ornans, into a prosperous farming family which wanted him to study law.
1839 – He went to Paris in this year, and worked at the studio of Steuben and Hesse.
1847 – His trip to the Netherlands this year, strengthened his belief that painters should portray the life around them, as Rembrandt, Hals, and the other Dutch masters had done.
1849 – He was becoming well known, producing such pictures as After Dinner at Ornans, for which the Salon awarded him a medal, and The Valley of the Loire.
1850 – The The Salon of 1850 found him triumphant with the Burial at Ornans, the Stone-Breakers which was destroyed in 1945, and the Peasants of Flagey.
1855 – He displayed his monumental The Artist’s Studio in this year. It is an allegory of his life as a painter, seen as a heroic venture, in which friends and admirers surround him.
1860 – He painted a series of increasingly erotic works, culminating in The Origin of the World (L’Origine du monde) in 1866, depicting female genitalia.
1865 – He painted the Portrait of Countess Karoly this year.
1870 – He established a "Federation of Artists" (Fédération des artistes) for the free and uncensored expansion of art.
1877 – He died this year at age 58, in La Tour du Peilz, Switzerland, of a liver disease aggravated by heavy drinking.