Jean Ramponneau was born in 1724 in Vignol, small village close to Clamecy, in the Nivernais area. His father was a barrel-maker.
He began his working life as wine-seller and established himself building a public house in Belleville named « Au Tambour Royal » (The Royal Drummer’s). In 1748, he married Marie-Martine Voyer, daughter of a wine-grower.
Thanks to the know-how of its owner, « Au Tambour Royal » became very famous, was the place to be seen (obviously or incognito) and drink more than usual.
Jean Ramponneau built more public houses, in Paris City itself as well as in its subburbs. After making a lot of money he decided to enjoy his retirement.
He died on April 4th, 1804.
Léon Dansaert (1830-1909), born in Belgium, settled himself in Ecouen and became French Citizen in 1861 or 1862. He liked to paint his models dressed in the 18th Century fashion way. More informations are available in the Association’s book.
One day, Léon Dansaert shipped to the Bruxelles exhibition a painting who get a lot of success during the 1866 Paris Salon. He referenced it, on the painting frame, as « M. Ramponneau ».
Two or three of the Bruxelles exhibition commitee members suggested to award a gold medal to the painting. Commitee majority answered « No doubt that this painting is excellent but this Mr Ramponneau has never exhibited here and we cannot award a medal to a beginner ».