Caruelle d’Aligny studied with the artists Louis Étienne Watelet (1780–1866), Jean-Baptiste Regnault (1754–1829) and Jean-Victor Bertin (1767–1842). He made his debut at the Salon in 1822.
From 1824–7 he travelled in Italy, where he became a friend of Corot. He returned several times, for example in 1834–6, and in 1843 he travelled to Greece. He settled in Paris, and painted in the forest of Fontainebleau. In later life he held the post of Director of the École des Beaux-Arts in Lyon.