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Martin Drolling

1752 Oberbergheim – 1817 Paris

Martin Drolling received his first artistic training in the Alsatian Sélestat and in Strasbourg before moving to Paris in 1768 for further studies. He benefited from the support of Maurice Quentin de la Tour and trained himself as a young man by ­copying the Dutch and Flemish masters of the seventeenth ­century in the Louvre, gaining recognition from his contem­poraries. Additionally, Drolling was active as a portrait painter and worked from 1798 until 1806 as figure painter in the ­Parisian porcelain manufactory of Dihl et Guérhard. From 1802 until 1813, he was also employed in the renowned Sèvres ­Manufactory, where, as an expression of his fame, he signed his works with his full name. As a painter, Drolling was never selected as a member of the Académie Royale. He chose instead to remain a small master and his occasionally cloying genre scenes of bourgeois life matched the taste of the period. Drolling’s frequent participation from 1793 in exhibitions of the Salon du Louvre confirms the popularity of his domestic scenes and interiors, executed in a very careful, polished technique. Numerous engravings and ­lithographs after his inventions highlight Drolling’s acceptance in post-revolutionary Parisian society. No less a person than the esteemed writer Honoré de Balzac mentions the artist several times in a complimentary fashion.