She was born Émilie Espérance Barret on April 2, 1978, in Saint-Étienne, in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France. 

Her brother Jean decided to relocate to the region's capital of Lyon, where she will be taught by Jacques Martin, who would put her on the path toward a career as an artist. 

Émilie Charmy moved with her brother Jean to Saint-Cloud, near Paris. She exhibited for the first time at the Salon des Indépendants in Paris. 

At the 1905 Paris Indépendants, the enterprising female art dealer Berthe Weill took notice of Charmy's work. This recognition proved an important turning point for Charmy, because Weill provided a point of entry into the heart of the Paris ant-garde community. 
At the Paris salon d'Automne, from 18 October to 25 November, Charmy displayed still life paintings. 
Charmy presented in a group show at the Berthe Weill Gallery. 

Charmy met the Fauve painter Charles Camoin with whom she began a romantic relationship. They spent summer in Corsica in 1906 and 1909. 

Charmy established a studio in Paris at 54 Rue de Bourgogne. 

Charmy's first one-artist exhibition opened at Druet's in early 1911. 
Solo exhibition at Galerie Clovis Sagot, Paris in 1912.
Charmy met the painter George Bouche with whom she began a long professional alliance and personal relationship. In the spring of 1913, Charmy made her first visit to Marnat, a village in the Auvergne region of central France. The works of this period represented a shift to more intimate pictures made with vigorous brushstrokes and a palette of medium-light to dark tones. 

George Bouche joined the army while Charmy stayed in Marnat alone.

Her son Edmond was born in Paris.

Solo exhibition at Galerie André Pesson in Paris.
Charmy met Étienne de Jouvencel, a patron who reportedly put the artist under contract as a way of formalising his support of her work. 

Charmy's exhibition took place in June at the Galeries d'Oeuvres d'Art on the rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré, it as organised by Étienne de Jouvencel. The catalogue contained prefaces by reviewers: the journalist Henry Béraud, the writer Louis-Léon Martin; the novelist, short story writer and photographic critic Pierre Mac Orlan; and the novelist Roland Dorgelès. The exhibition was a great success. 
Solo exhibition at Galerie d'Art Ancien et Moderne in Paris; the preface to the catalogue was written by French literary icon Collette.

In 1926, Émilie Charmy was the recipient of the Chevalier of the Legion of Honour award, which was partly due to Eli-Joseph Bois, Director of the Petit Parisien newspaper. Bois also introduced her to several political figures, including Édouard Daladier, Aristide Briand, and Louise Weiss, with whom she became close. 
Another major solo exhibition was held at the Galerie Barbazange; the preface to the catalogue was written by Henri Béraud. 
Charmy and George Bouche married in 1931.

Charmy's solo exhibition at the Galerie Jeanne Castel.

Charmy exhibited several paintings, including Aristide Briand sur son lit de mort and Portrait de M.Albert Sarraut at the Galerie Charpentier in Paris. 
Gemaine Beaumont, a journalist and novelist of the French art world, published an article about Charmy in Les Nouvelles Littéraires
Charmy's solo exhibition at the Galerie Jeanne Castel.
During World War II, she retreated together with Bouche, who was in deteriorating health as a result of an acute lung condition, from Ablon to Marnat.

Her husband died in 1941.

After the war, Charmy returned to her apartment-studio on the rue de Bourgogne in Paris. However, the network of contacts that had sustained her in Paris was largely dispersed. Gallery exhibitions would be staged from time to time, until the early 1960s. She exhibited at the Galerie Jeanne Castel in 1949 and in 1952. 

Charmy's solo exhibition at the Galerie Paul Pétridès.
She died at the age of 96 in Paris.