Charles Blanc (17 November 1813, Castres (Tarn) - 17 January 1882, Paris) was a French art critic, the younger brother of the French socialist politician and historian Louis Blanc. After the February Revolution of 1848, he was director of the Department for the Visual Arts at the Ministry of the Interior. As director of the École des Beaux-Arts he reinstituted a program of copying from casts after the antique and commissioned a series of copies of Old Masters for a projected "Musée des copies" that was objected to by the school's overseers, who cashiered Blanc.
He published the Histoire des peintres de toutes les écoles (Par. 1849-69, 14 vols.), which was translated into English and German.
In his book, Chromophobia, author and artist, David Batchelor argues that Charles Blanc thought of color in art as something not to be totally relied upon. With regard to painting, Blanc says that while color is essential, its place is delegated behind the formal characteristics of composition, chiaroscuro and drawing.