Vien was attending the Académie royale de peinture et de sculpture, among other pupil of the painter Charles -Joseph Natoire and was able through its mediation early in exhibitions of the Paris Salon. 1743 Vien received the Grand Prix and in consequence of a royal travel scholarship to Italy. In the spring of the following year Vien went to Rome at the Académie de France ( French Academy in Rome), which at that time still lived in a palace on the Corso.
After his return to Vien settled as a freelance artist in Paris and founded a painting school there in 1750. 1775 Vien entrusted you with the leadership of the French Academy in Rome. 1781 Vien returned back to Paris and was established in early 1789 the first court painter to King Louis XVI. During the French Revolution Vien took very little in appearance; but Napoleon Bonaparte became aware of Vien already as consul. In the year of his coronation Napoleon appointed Vien senator and Imperial Count.
At the age of 92 years, Joseph -Marie Vien died on 27 March 1809 in Paris. With Vien connects the transition from French rococo to early classicism. As the most important student Viens applies Jacques -Louis David.
- The Sleeping Hermit, 1750, canvas, 225 × 147 cm.
- Mars and Venus, 1768, canvas, 226 × 151 cm.
- Minerva, wood, 82 × 65 cm.
- Susanna and the Elders, 1746, canvas, 65 × 81 cm.
- Daedalus and Icarus
- St. Germain and St. Vincent
- The Sultana
- The Sultan
Le Sultan noir ( The Sultan )