He was born in Paris. There, he began painting under the supervision of his father, the painter Martin Drolling. After 1806, he studied with Jacques-Louis David. For The Wrath of Achilles he won the Prix de Rome in 1810. After having worked at the French Academy in Rome, he became known for the Death of Abel, exhibited at the Salon of 1817.
He received many orders consequently and produced, in particular, The Lord Descends to Earth to Establishes his Empire and Spread his Good Deeds for the ceiling of the room of Illustrious Men at the Louvre, The States-General of Tours in 1836 and The Convention of Alexandria in 1837 for the museum of history in the Palace of Versailles and Jesus Among the Doctors for the Church of Our-Lady-of-Loretto in Paris in 1840. He was elected a member of Académie des Beaux-Arts in 1837 and was later named a Professor with École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.