Charles-Dominique-Joseph Eisen was born in Valenciennes in 1720. In 1740 he went to Paris to work in the studio of engraver, Jacques-Philippe Lebas. Eisen himself, probably engraved very little during his employment. It’s likely that he produced the drawings from which Lebas and his assistants would engrave.
In 1745, Eisen illustrated a volume celebrating the betrothal of the Dauphin Louis to Maria Theresa of Spain. This volume was his first commission, probably passed on to him by Lebas. In 1747 he provided 43 drawings for an edition of the works of Nicolas Boileau.
Eisen’s studio effects were seized in 1748 by the Academie de St. Luc, a result of his refusal to pay the joining fee. He felt that he should be admitted for a lesser amount because of his exceptional talent. In 1750, he successfully sued and was admitted without fee.