Bernard Duvivier (1762—1837) spent much of his life in Paris and became a French citizen. However, he was born Johannes Bernardus Duvivier, son of a barber-surgeon in Bruges, the prominent Flemish city. His art studies began at Bruges Academy, where he won several prizes and an early commission from a city guild.
Duvivier moved to Paris to study at the Royal Academy, where he encountered the neoclassical style and history painting. He continued to win prizes, and also caught the eye of a wealthy patron who sponsored him for a period of study in Rome beginning in 1789. This is the same year of this painting’s completion, as well as the start of the French Revolution. He remained in Italy until 1796, when he returned to Paris and became a French citizen. He continued to exhibit his paintings, many of which were copied as engravings and lithograph prints.