Julien Dupré (1851–1910) was born in Paris on March 18, 1851 to Jean Dupré (a jeweler) and Pauline Bouillié and began his adult life working in a lace shop in anticipation of entering his family's jewelry business. The war of 1870 and the siege of Paris forced the closure of the shop and Julien began taking evening courses at the Ecole des Arts Décoratifs and it was through these classes that he gained admission to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts.
At l'Ecole he studied with Isidore Pils (1813–1875) and Henri Lehmann (1814–1882). In the mid 1870s he traveled to Picardy and became a student of the rural genre painter Désiré François Laugée (1823–1896), whose daughter Marie Eléonore Françoise he would marry in 1876; the year he exhibited his first painting at the Paris Salon.
Throughout his career Dupré championed the life of the peasant and continued painting scenes in the areas of Normandy and Brittany until his death on April 16, 1910.