Jean-Victor Bertin entered the Academie Royal de Peinture as a pupil of Gabriel François Doyen in 1785. He travelled to Italy in 1806 where he developed his style during the following two years. Bertin adhered closely to Poussin's principles of idyllic landscape painting, but he also introduced to his paintings direct observation of atmosphere and topography.
Bertin exhibited at the Salon throughout his life and won numerous awards, including the Légion d'Honneur in 1822. As early as 1801 Bertin had proposed to the Academie the creation of a Prix de Rome for historical landscape painting. The award was finally created in 1817 and the inaugural competition was won by one of his own pupils, Achille Michalas (1796-1822). Bertin was one of the most influential teachers of the next generation of landscape painters, as evident in the works of his best-known pupil Jean-Baptiste Corot.