After studying in Marseille under Augustin Aubert (1781-1857), he moved to Paris and entered the studio of Léon Cogniet. In 1836 he won the Prix de Rome and from 1836 to 1841 he was a student at the French Academy in Rome. His most famous painting, The Dream of Happiness (Compiègne, Musée Vivenel), exhibited at the Paris Salon of 1843, was inspired by the writings of the socialist philosopher Charles Fourier (1772-1837). He was greatly interested in Greek and Roman art, paying two visits to Greece in 1846 and 1847, and many of his later paintings have affinities with the Néo-Grec style popularised by Gérôme and his followers. He died in the cholera epidemic of 1849.