So wrote the painter Jacques-Louis David of his one-time pupil François-Marius Granet. The son of a master mason, Granet learned drawing by copying his father's print collection before enrolling as a student at the free drawing academy in his hometown of Aix-en-Provence. In 1796 he traveled to Paris, where he studied Dutch and Flemish paintings in the Musée du Louvre. Before being accepted into David's studio, Granet earned his living painting mural decorations in private apartments. While with David, he developed an interest in medieval and royalist subjects--themes that would later dominate his work--but he soon had to leave for lack of funds.
In Rome from 1802, Granet earned his living selling drawings of ancient monuments and painting biographical events from the lives of famous artists. Nearly twenty years later he reached the height of his success when he was awarded the Cross of the French Legion of Honor and the ribbon of the Order of Saint Michael. In 1826 he became a curator at the Louvre and later worked at Versailles.