(b. 1752, Oberbergheim, d. 1817, Paris)


Part of a French family of painters. Martin Drolling (Drölling) and his son Michel-Martin Drolling were portrait painters; whereas the father expanded his range by concentrating on bourgeois domestic interiors, the son produced a number of history paintings on mythological and religious subjects.

After receiving initial training from an unknown painter in Sélestat, Martin Drolling moved to Paris, where he attended courses at the Académie Royale. He supplemented his education there by studying Flemish and Dutch Old Masters in the collection at the Luxembourg Palace. From the Flemish school he derived his own rich impasto, while the Dutch was to influence him in his meticulous, supremely descriptive and unsentimental style of painting as well as his choice of subject-matter: unfussy bourgeois interiors and frank portraits.

Drolling first exhibited at the Salon de la Correspondance in 1781 and again in 1782 and 1789. After the French Revolution he was able to participate in the Salon at the Louvre, despite the fact that he had never become a member of the Académie Royale. He exhibited from 1793 to 1817, although the majority of his works extant today were shown after 1800. From 1802 to 1813 he was employed by the Sèvres porcelain manufactory, and many of his designs were engraved.

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