Born in Switzerland, Albert Anker (1813 - 1910) painted beautiful paintings of children as can be seen in these examples. A father of four, his children often served as models for his scenes which are usually set in a pastoral backdrop or show a very tender, sweet portrayal of childhood. He has been called the most popular Swiss painter of the 19th century, sadly I doubt he is known outside of Switzerland.
Though Anker did not initially attend art school, he studied under Louis Wallinger taking drawing lessons. In 1851 he went to Berne, Germany to study theology where he would become a priest. He became dissatisfied with the priesthood and much to his fathers’ dismay; Anker was still fascinated by art. In 1854 finally moved to Paris to study at the Ecole Impériale des Beaux-Arts (the same place as William Adolphe Bourguereau who I wrote about previously).
Aside from his numerous paintings of young children, Anker would also paint light and airy landscapes in watercolor. These landscapes were typically inspired by the Italian countryside, where he would travel often in during his lifetime. In particular, Anker turned to watercolors in the last ten years of his life due to health problems.
Although Anker gained much notoriety in his lifetime, he is generally not as well-known today as his contemporaries and fellow students. Perhaps this is because, during the height of his popularity, social-criticism was a rising theme amongst other painters, and Anker’s portraits of children weren’t as harsh or striking. Anker painted in the Classical style, and new styles of painting were arising that are still extremely popular today, like Impressionism - the Impressionists seemed to have sent many painters such as Anker and Bourguereau into the unknown as they didn't chose to change their style of painting - sad as they are very touching and beautiful. (Source)