French painter; born at Besançon in 1816; died at Geneva in 1885. He was one of the foremost representatives of the historic genre in France, and depicted chiefly the lighter side of the social life of the Renaissance and of the rococo period. His paintings are distinguished by the facile and skilful touch suggestive of the French school of the eighteenth century and also by brilliancy of color, and great variety of detail. Among the best known of his works may be mentioned: "Andrea del Sarto Painting His Wife as Madonna del Sacco"; "Palestrina in the Midst of an Assemblage of Musical Ladies"; "Venetian Painters with Their Inamoratas Assembling in a Tavern upon the Great Canal to Celebrate the Feast of Their Patron, Saint Luke"; "An Assemblage upon the Green," and "A Harvest-Festival in the Campagna." Both of the last-mentioned works, as well as the well-known water-color, "Feast in the Tuileries During the Paris Exposition of 1867," are in the Luxembourg Gallery. Baron's water-colors were deservedly popular; and he is equally well known for his numerous illustrations to the works of J. J. Rousseau, the "Tales of Boccaccio," the "Adventures of Télémaque," and the "Fairy-Tales of Perrault."
Baron received second-class medals in 1847-48 and in 1855; a decoration in 1859, and a third-class medal at the Universal Exposition of 1867. He also received several commissions from Napoleon III., among which were the water-colors, "The Official Fête," and two paintings, "The Bouquet," and "The Sense of Touch"—placed over the entrance to the Ministry of the Interior.
- J. Meyer, Allgemeines Künstler, Lexikon; La Grande Encyclopédie.