DEMARNE, Jean-Louis
(b. 1752, Bruxelles, d. 1829, Paris)


Jean-Louis Demarne (also spelt de Marne), French painter. He went to Paris at the age of 12 after the death of his father, who had been in Brussels as an officer in the service of the Emperor of Austria. Having spent eight years studying history painting with Gabriel Briard (1729-1777), he entered the Prix de Rome in 1772 and 1774 but failed to win.

Thereafter he concentrated on landscape and genre painting, in which he was greatly influenced by such 17th-century Dutch masters as Aelbert Cuyp, the van Ostade brothers, Adriaen van de Velde and Karel Dujardin, all artists enjoying a tremendous vogue and high prices in Paris at that time. In reviving their art and transposing it to a contemporary setting Demarne won a strong following among leading connoisseurs and artist-collectors of the time: Josephine Bonaparte (who owned four paintings), Carle Vernet, the Baron Gros and M. Thomas Henry. He was also popular in Russia, and many of his best works were bought by Russian aristocrats (e.g. Prince Youssoupoff). Arguably his biggest supporter was the Comte de Nape, who owned 31 pictures by the artist and published a short biography of him in 1817.

Demarne was made an associate (agréé) of the Académie Royale in 1783 but did not become a full member. He seems to have cared little for official honours and later, in 1815, was unwilling to seek membership of the Institut de France. He was, however, awarded the Légion d'honneur at the Salon of 1828.

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