Leon-Francois Comerre was born in 1850 in Trélon France.
A student of Alphonse Colas in Lille, Léon Comerre showed an early interest in art and won a gold medal at the Academy of Lille in 1867. Colas asked the city of Lille to pension Leon Comerre for the Ecole des Beaux-Arts of Paris, and Comerre entered the Academy of Fine Arts in Paris in 1868, joining the studio of Alexandre Cabanel.
In 1871, he participated for the first time at the Paris Salon where he presented "An Italian portrait". In 1875, he won a third class medal with "Cassandre". Several times admitted to the Grand Prix de Rome competition, he won the second Grand Prix in 1872, the first Grand Prix in 1874, and in 1875 won the Grand Prix de Rome in History Painting. For this success, the municipality of Lille gave him a gold medal.
After a short study trip to Belgium and Holland, Léon Comerre went to Italy and stayed at the Villa Medici from January 1876 to December 1879. Leon Comerre also went to London and exhibited at the Royal Academy, at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters and at the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts.
During the Universal Exhibition of Antwerp in 1885, the medal of honor was given to him. That same year, he was decorated with the Legion of Honor.
In 1886, Léon Comerre obtained the commission for two panels that decorated the City Hall of the 4th arrondissement of Paris. He also decorated the ceiling and eight panels for the Rhône Prefecture in Lyon. In 1888, Comerre presented at the Salon a triptych.
Comerre was an academic of a grand scale. He epitomized the spirit of La Belle Époque; he painted the theatrical, the beautiful, and the sensual. Fascinated by the world of theater and dance, he made numerous portraits of actresses and ballet dancers.
His atelier of over a hundred paintings and more than a hundred drawings was sold at auction in Paris in 2003. Amazingly this atelier was kept intact since Comerre's death in 1916. The family of the artist published a book in 1980 that catalogues his atelier.
Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur, 1903
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Béziers
Musée des Beaux-Arts, Lille
Palais des Beaux-Arts, Marseille
Musée d'Arts, Nantes
Musée du Petit Palais, Paris