The artist moved to Paris at the age of twelve after the death of his father, an Austrian officer serving in Brussels. Although trained as a history painter, he concentrated on landscape and genre painting, greatly influenced by such seventeenth-century Dutch masters as Aelbert Cuyp, Adriaen and Isaack van Ostade, Adriaen van de Velde and Karel Dujardin, all artists enjoying a tremendous vogue and high prices in Paris at that time. Demarne was made an associate 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. He was particularly fond of painting village and town fairs and road scenes, the latter, including the present picture, dating mostly from after 1799.
Largely apolitical, Demarne did not participate in the French Revolution and was only marginally involved in Napoleon's patronage of the arts. He painted the figures for the Meeting of Napoleon and Pius VII at Fontainebleau (Château de Versailles), for which Alexandre-Hyacinthe Dunouy (1757-1841) produced the landscape. Demarne also sometimes contributed figures to the landscapes of Lancelot-Théodore Turpin de Crissé, Cesar van Loo, Georges Michel and Louis-Léopold Boilly. He had a devoted array of admirers, and his work was eagerly collected. In 1817 the Comte de Nape owned thirteen of his works and the Empress Josephine four. He was also very popular in Russia, and many of his best works passed into the collections of the Russian aristocracy.