The Baron’s mystery
Auguste Etienne Baron (born in1819) is definitely part of the Ecouen’s painters team aggregated around Pierre Edouard Frère. He was even one of the first newcomers but his destiny was drastically different from the other artists.
Married to Marie Eugenie Graux on 1850, he became widower the following year. In 1862, he remarried, in Ecouen, with Caroline Antoinette Jacoutot, artist as well. His wedding best friends were Edouard Frère, Paul Soyer and Charles Hugot, at that time living in Paris. Thus, he was entirely recognized as part of the local artists community.
Very quickly, Baron will face major financial difficulties. He was forced to foreclose two houses with workshops he owned on “La Croix-Mauberge” (district inside the village of Ecouen). He tried to sale his properties, without any success, was forced to borrow even more money and depts were piling-up.
In 1872, he left for Biarritz (city in the South-West of France) and has been seen later in Italy, his family country. These are the last traces of his existence. Without any news from him, his wife searched for him without any success. Then, Auguste Etienne Baron was officially declared as a missing person.
Strangely, none of his art-pieces have ever been registered, listed in the Benezit (official artists book) or part of any sales auction.
If anyone of you has a painting with his signature, please let us know. Beware of several painters named Baron.