How A Lost Masterpiece By Belgian Artist Marie Charlot Was Discovered!

Victorian Beach Scene - Artist Marie Charlot
Victorian Oil Painting - Marie Charlot

In 1985, my wife and I were window shopping in the wonderful, old, Victorian Esplanade in Lord Street, Southport. At the eastern end of the esplanade is a private art gallery, that has been there as long as I can remember.

I think most people love browsing in small galleries, in the hope of finding a little treasure, to hang on a wall at home. My wife and were immediately drawn to this lovely painting. The colours and texture are quite exquisite. We purchased this painting for £85 and it has adorned our walls in London and Sydney for the past 25 years.

I have had numerous offers for the painting but I will never part with it. It is such a beguiling little gem. The artist is Marie Charlot. The signature is very common and it seems that the name is used as a collective for a series of Victorian beach scenes of women and children.

I have collected 3 more Marie Charlot paintings but this is by far the best. Some further investigation has suggested the painting is by 19th Century, Belgian artist Marie Charlot but this is improbable.

In truth, the painting has given my wife and I 25 years of pleasure. That is worth more than any provenance.

If you have any comments on the painting, I would love to hear from you. If you have any information about Marie Charlot, please email me.

My name is Steve Howard. You have been reading the digital circus.

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Digital Design, Display & Graphics Guru with a passion for Creativity!

51 thoughts on “How A Lost Masterpiece By Belgian Artist Marie Charlot Was Discovered!”

  1. I am researching a winter landscape painting signed “Marie Charlot.” I would be thankful to receive any information about the artist. For example, which publications contain information about Charlot? Are there any art dealers currently offering Charlot paintings for sale? Why do you believe he or she is Belgian? Thanks. CB

  2. I have the same painting! I forgot about the painting and it has been in my daughter’s closet for 20 years! I love it too! Even though I do not intend to sell it, is it worth any money?

  3. I have an acrylic/oil signed by Marie Charlot – a wood scene with what appears to be a mother & daughter walking – Mum in whites, daughter in pink etc.

  4. We to have a Marie Charlot painting of a woman and childern at the beach with a boat. We love it as well. Will try to sent pic of painting.

      1. My wife and I purchased a wonderful beach scene in oil in San Francisco in 1977. We have had the painting hanging in pride of place in our home on Sydney Australia ever since.

      2. Thanks for the email David. I lived in North Narrabeen in Sydney in 1990 ands took my Marie Charlot with me from London and then back to London. I used the painting for advertising which was a great success. Nice to know you still enjoy your painting.

        Regards

        Steve

  5. I have 2 paintings of Marie Charlot,i bought them at an antiques,5 years ago!!!!I would love to sell them for big big prices!!!!lolll

    Ben

    1. Dear Ben,

      Marie Charlot was a fictional painter hired by Collector’s Corner Inc. back in the early 70′s. Painters from China were hired by this company and given a list of names for the painter to put on the painting when finished. People were more likely to purchase from an English, American or French name than they would if it were signed by a Chinese name.
      That was the market back then. These painting were done on a massive scale not always by the same artist. Painters were shown a reference piece and painted slightly different versions. China is still selling these types of painting each day, now you can find them on ebay with many names close to someone who is noted artist.

  6. hi I believe I may have a beach scene by her as well I admit I struggled to make out the signature but a friend looked at it with a fresh pair of eyes and sent me your link. have photos if you send me an email I can send pics to. would be interested to know more about it

    1. Dear Paula,

      Many thanks for the email. The painting you have seems to be an idea created by a ‘Franklin Mint’, type of company, attempting to sell, hand painted oils under the brand name Marie Charlot. Marie Charlot seems to be a fictitious name. There was a similar name, supposedly a little known, Belgian artist, apparently favoured by Napoleon Bonaparte. My investigations thus far have drawn a blank. The value of these oils is relatively low but three I have have possess, great, sentimental value.

      Although the paintings seem to have been painted by talented, amateur artists, some of them are technically proficient. The minitiature Marie Charlot in my blog is a fine oil by any standards.

      If you have any pictures and any information on how you acquired the piece, I would be delighted to hear from you.

      Regards

      Steve

    2. Dear Paula,

      Marie Charlot was a fictional painter hired by Collector’s Corner Inc. back in the early 70′s. Painters from China were hired by this company and given a list of names for the painter to put on the painting when finished. People were more likely to purchase from an English, American or French name than they would if it were signed by a Chinese name.
      That was the market back then. These painting were done on a massive scale not always by the same artist. Painters were shown a reference piece and painted slightly different versions. China is still selling these types of painting each day, now you can find them on ebay with many names close to someone who is noted artist.

  7. I had a painting exactly like that at one point. I later sold it so I do not have a picture. I wonder if it was a reproduction then? I am sure it was not authentic now as I see this one and it cannot be the one that I sold. The signature on the painting that I had was more faint and challenging to read. I don’t know that it really helps you much but I was quite surprised to see this painting listed here.

    1. The painting you had was properly the same as the ones I have. They are collectibles, individual beach scenes created by artists & signed Marie Charlot. This is a marketing ploy. Victorian, women painters are in demand. All the paintings with this signature are pastiches. One or two, show great technical merit.

      Do not worry that this oil is no longer in your possession. The value these pieces is no more than $100 – $250.

      Regards

      Steve

    2. Marie Charlot was a fictional painter hired by Collector’s Corner Inc. back in the early 70′s. Painters from China were hired by this company and given a list of names for the painter to put on the painting when finished. People were more likely to purchase from an English, American or French name than they would if it were signed by a Chinese name.
      That was the market back then. These painting were done on a massive scale not always by the same artist. Painters were shown a reference piece and painted slightly different versions. China is still selling these types of painting each day, now you can find them on ebay with many names close to someone who is noted artist.

  8. Hi, I have been trying to research a painting I bought at a flea market almost 15 years ago, I have had it in a closet the whole time and forgot about it. When I look up the signature on the bottom it is Marie Charlott ( yes with two TT’s at the end ) the signature matches other Marie Charlot art, it is a landscaped, women and children walking, with parasols, much like the rest of Marie Charlot’s work.. I am just lost at the two TT’s on the last name?
    Thank you, Rosa Rojas

    1. Dear Rosa, Marie Charlot paintings are painted by commissioned artists in am impressionist style. The better versions will grow in value as they become more collectible. My advice is to keep it and enjoy it.

      Regards

      Steve

    2. Dear Rosa,

      Marie Charlot was a fictional painter hired by Collector’s Corner Inc. back in the early 70′s. Painters from China were hired by this company and given a list of names for the painter to put on the painting when finished. People were more likely to purchase from an English, American or French name than they would if it were signed by a Chinese name.
      That was the market back then. These painting were done on a massive scale not always by the same artist. Painters were shown a reference piece and painted slightly different versions. China is still selling these types of painting each day, now you can find them on ebay with many names close to someone who is noted artist.

  9. I have painting which is signed the same way as this and the colors are the same but, I wonder if it was made by the same Marie Charlot? Any help? I can share some pictures with any one who has got some thing to say about it.
    Regards
    A

    1. Dear Al,

      Marie Charlot was a fictional painter hired by Collector’s Corner Inc. back in the early 70′s. Painters from China were hired by this company and given a list of names for the painter to put on the painting when finished. People were more likely to purchase from an English, American or French name than they would if it were signed by a Chinese name.
      That was the market back then. These painting were done on a massive scale not always by the same artist. Painters were shown a reference piece and painted slightly different versions. China is still selling these types of painting each day, now you can find them on ebay with many names close to someone who is noted artist.

      1. Hi,
        i see in all your replies talking about the same picture does any one have ever seen picture with the same author name but the oil painting is in the Paris near Eiffel tower?

        If any one like to see I can share some pictures with any one who has got some thing to say about it.

      2. Dear Kristina,

        Please send me the pictures. The American Collectors House that commissioned the Marie Charlot series of Impressionist style paintings produced other designs. I have not seen any of the other series but someone else may have some information.

        Regards

        Steve

  10. i have a marie charlot oil painting and have only just started to look at her background and when it came from , i have had mine for 8 years and i got it in charity shop , i wont be selling this item but would like to know if it is worth something , mine is very pale colours with two children and a woman olding an umberella i do have photos off this painting and i have it hanging in my living room , hope i can send on a photo and if anyone has info kind regards

    1. Dear Emma Jane,

      Marie Charlot was a fictional painter hired by Collector’s Corner Inc. back in the early 70′s. Painters from China were hired by this company and given a list of names for the painter to put on the painting when finished. People were more likely to purchase from an English, American or French name than they would if it were signed by a Chinese name.
      That was the market back then. These painting were done on a massive scale not always by the same artist. Painters were shown a reference piece and painted slightly different versions. China is still selling these types of painting each day, now you can find them on ebay with many names close to someone who is noted artist.

      Regards

      Steve

  11. Hi,
    I have two paintings signed by Marie Charlot. One is a Paris (it’s rainning) and the other is with horses (the frame is over than 50 years old).
    Neli

  12. I have one as well. Its HUGE!!! My mother bought it many years ago and when she passed on to the light she left it with me. I’ll send you some pics and dimensions.

    1. Dear Bill,

      Thanks for the email. I hope your Marie Charlot gives your family as much pleasure as my three paintings.

      If you do have some photographs, I would be very interested to see them.

      Regards

      Steve

  13. I too have a Marie Charlot painting and we have had it many years. It is a 3′ by 2′ size of beach scene including a lighthouse. I will try to send a picture

  14. Steve I came acrossed your sight and was excited. I have three paintings of Marie Charlot, two beach and one winter oil painting. I would like to sell them but have no clue how to get them get them appraised or even where to go to sell them. I would apprichate any information you can give me. Thank you so much
    Judy

    1. Dear Judy, Thanks for the email. There are literally hundreds of these paintings on the market. The value is the amount your buyer is prepared to pay. In terms of selling them I have never sold a painting in my life. Consequently, I would not be able to advise on this matter.

      Regards

      Steve

  15. Hi Steve.i recently bought two Marie charlot paintings.i knew they weren’t old as they were painted on a modern hardboard.i also found your sight before purchasing and knew at £3.99 each out a charity shop I had a bargain.the only query I have is I can’t seem to find the same paintings anywhere on the net.if they were so mastly produced you would think I would find duplicates easily?

    Regards,Derek

    1. Dear Derek,

      Well done on your purchase. My paintings cost me £70-£100 each. Each painting in this series is an original. The theme is similar but they are not mass produced copies. Chinese artists were commissioned to produce impressionist style paintings of Victorian beach scenes, ladies on a beach etc. Each one would be unique not copies from a master.

      I hope that helps?

      Regards

      Steve

      1. Thats a great help thanks a lot.my two are of street scenes possibly in Paris.they are also only 11″ x 8″ so I doubt they would be worth the same as what you paid for yours I would love to know what they would go for in an auction as that is probably the only way of valuing them but I think I’ll find a place in my house for them as I think they are expertly done.thanks for your help

        Regards

        Derek

  16. I too have a Marie Charlot , women on the beach, etc that I purchased in 1988 CA at a “Tupperware style party” that featured art work . Mine cost $125.00 at the time (I have the collectors corner receipt). I was always curious regarding the “artist”, thanks for all the information.

  17. Dear Vickie,

    Thank you for the fascinating story. I cannot comment on your father’s paintings. All I do know is that the ones I have and the other images sent to me are not European and more 1980’s than 1880’s.

    Regards

    Steve

  18. Dear Vickie, I bought them from a gallery in Southport in 1983. I have an arts degree and the oils used are modern as is the canvas. My paintings have no artistic value apart from enjoyment.

  19. Dear Chris,

    Many thanks for the email. I am not an art expert. I happened to buy a couple of Paintings signed by Marie Charlot and found then to be Chinese rather than French or Belgian. I later discovered that there is no information on Marie Charlot and that the American company marketing these paintings actually created the name as a pseudo brand.

    Knowing this information does not affect the pleasure in derive from the paintings. I wish you luck in your investigation.

    Regards

    Steve

  20. Dear Carl,

    The signature ‘Marie Charlot’ was signed by different artists on many paintings.

    I have four Marie Charlot paintings and all four signatures are different.

    Regards

    Steve

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