Though he trained under Jacques-Louis David and exhibited widely at the Salon, little is known about the life of Pierre Duval le Camus. During a period in which history painting was considered the pinnacle of artistic practice and garnered the most critical attention, Duval le Camus was a practitioner of newly-fashionable genre painting, capturing the lives of the French middle-class during the Restoration. Duval le Camus was a particular favorite of the duchesse de Berry, and later in life served as the mayor of Saint-Cloud.
This portrait of fellow artist André Jolivard was likely painted in the late 1820s or early 1830s, at the height of Duval le Camus’s Salon career. Best remembered as a landscape painter, Jolivard was also a printmaker, and had served in Napoléon’s army during the Leipzig campaign. An inscription purportedly on the back of the original canvas indicated that Jolivard and Duval le Camus were related by marriage, and the gift of a painting by Jolivard to the museum that Duval le Camus founded in Lisieux for its inaugural exhibition further suggests a close relationship between painter and sitter.