Eugène Cuvelier was born in Arras, France, the son of the stockbroker Adalbert Cuvelier. His father took up the new art of photography and perfected, with two other artists, the technique of cliché verre. Through his father, the young Eugène moved in the circle of Barbizon painters, meeting, amongst others, Corot, Rousseau and Millet. He married Louise Ganne, the daughter of the Barbizon innkeeper at whose premises the artists gathered. Cuvelier settled at the edge of the forest of Fontainebleau and worked on an extraordinary series of views showing the effects of the changing light of the forest and the seasons. Unlike most other photographers of the period who selected a preferred technique and used it for all of their work, Cuvelier selected paper or glass negatives and salt or albumen prints depending on the atmosphere of the particular aspect of his beloved subject which he intended to recreate. He was a member of the Société française de la photographie from 1855. His work was the subject of a major exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.