Together with his brother François Léon Benouville (1821-1859), Jean-Achille Benouville began his artistic education in the atelier of the Parisian painter François Picot (1786-1868).
The teacher oriented him towards landscape painting, starting with excursions to the outskirts of Paris and Fontainebleau. Jean-Achille first showed at the Paris Salon in 1834; immediately afterwards he was accepted at the city’s prestigious École de Beaux-Arts. He first traveled in Italy with his friend Camille Corot, and they shared a studio in Rome in 1843.
Thanks to his painting Ulysses and Nausicaa he won the Prix de Rome (in the division of “historical landscape”) in 1845; the prestigious award from the Fine Arts Academy in Paris provided him a scholarship and pensionnaire for three years at the Villa Medici in Rome.
At the end of this period of intense study, Benouville decided to remain in the Eternal City, where he painted for the next twenty-five years. First from his studio at number 86, Piazza di Spagna and then from the one at number 144, via del Babuino, he continued to regularly send his works to the Paris Salon every year. In 1871 he returned to France.