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Jean-Louis Demarne

1744 Brussels – 1829 Paris

Jean-Louis Demarne’s Belgian nationality has often been cited to explain the artist’s penchant for genre scenes in the manner of 17th century Dutch and Flemish masters such as Dujardin, Cuyp and van Ostade. However, Brussels was merely the city where his father, a French officer, was stationed. After his father’s death the twelve-year-old Demarne moved to Paris, where he underwent artistic training at the hands of Gabriel Briard.  After an unsuccessful attempt to win the Prix de Rome in 1774 (the winner that year was Jacques-Louis David) Demarne decided to dedicate himself to genre and landscape painting. His career evolved largely outside the official institutions. He never became a member of the Académie and rejected membership of the Institut de France. His creative output appealed to a substantial number of private collectors nonetheless. The artist’s printed oeuvre, consisting of some 40 etchings and a few lithographs, reveals the same interest in animal depictions, peasant scenes and landscapes as his painted work.