Born in Aix-en-Provence, François-Marius Granet studied in the 1790s with Jean-Antoine Constantin and Jacques-Louis David, before travelling briefly to Rome in 1802. He returned to Italy and spent a further 21 years there as a member of a community of French artists, which included Jean-Auguste Dominique Ingres, François-Xavier Fabre, Pierre-Athanase Chauvin (1774-1832) and Nicolas-Didier Boguet (1755-1839). He was famous for his paintings of church and convent interiors.
In 1824 Granet went back France to become a curator at the Louvre. He was later director of the Museum of French History at Versailles, a post he kept until the Revolution of 1848. He bequeathed to the town of Aix his own collection, which is now housed in the Musée Granet.