Jean-Baptiste-Ferdinand Monchablon was born in the village of Châtillon-sur-Saône. In about 1875, Monchablon went to Paris to study painting under Alexandre Cabanel. He debuted at the Salon in 1881. Monchablon began to specialize in realistic, light-filled landscapes by 1885. He moved home and focused his skills on depicting the valleys and fields around his hometown.
Monchablon continued to exhibit his paintings in Paris and abroad in the 1880s and 1890s, but lived most of the time in Châtillon. He traveled to the Netherlands to study 17th-century Dutch artists in the mid-1880s; his landscapes, like those in the Dutch landscape tradition, are dominated by large skies, panoramic views of the countryside, and meticulous detail. Monchablon was so enamored of that tradition that he began signing his paintings with the Dutch version of his name: Jan Monchablon.
Knoedler’s Gallery of New York began selling Monchablon’s landscapes in 1887. American collectors from New York and the Midwest favored his works.