on of Etienne Joseph Audfray, sabot-maker, and from Perrine Marie Joséphine Brémond, Etienne Audfray is born on August 4th, 1846 in Saint Christophe du Bois in Maine et Loire.
He begins studies of seminarist with Mongazon but he gives up them with the profit of artistic studies. Besides he will regret this ecclesiastical career throughout his life. There him remains a religious rigorism about it some. He goes to Paris: he is pupil of Paul H. Flandrin (landscape painter and portraitist). This teaching brings a technique of the portrait to him which represents the main part of his work, and in which he excels: He retains of its Master the research carefully of the pose (poses conventional), the dark tones of the garment and the serious faces.