Jérôme-Martin Langlois's father was a miniature painter, yet he opposed his son taking up the artist's profession. Langlois persisted, however, and trained with Jacques-Louis David, France's leading painter. David's Neoclassical style strongly influenced Langlois, whose historical and mythological paintings were also characterized by severe settings and cool, polished rendering of form. Langlois ultimately became one of David's favorite students and assisted on several of his pictures.
Langlois placed second in the Prix de Rome competition of 1805, then won first prize in 1809, earning himself study in Rome in the 1810s. Beginning in 1805 he exhibited regularly at the Salon, winning second prize in 1817 and first prize in 1819. In 1824 he traveled to Brussels to paint a portrait of the exiled David, who died not long thereafter. Shortly before his own death, Langlois was elected a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts.