Charles Ephrussi was a French art critic, art historian, and art collector. He also was a part-owner and then editor as well as a contributor to the Gazette des Beaux-Arts, the most important art historical periodical in France.
A member of the wealthy Ephrussi family, he spent the first ten years of his life in Odessa, a major port on the Black Sea where his grandfather was a grain industrialist, before moving to Vienna. His father Léon and his uncle Ignace were in charge of establishing branches of the family business in Europe.
In 1871, Charles Ephrussi moved to the newly built Hôtel Ephrussi, 81 rue de Monceau, in Paris, with his parents and brothers. The next year, he traveled to Italy, where he began to collect art. On his return to Paris, he became more involved in both the purchase of art and writing about it, publishing his first article in Gazette des Beaux-Arts in 1876. Like most of his publications, it concerned Renaissance art. He also gave two works of art to the Louvre at this time.