Schnetz was an academic painter whose historical and genre paintings were much admired. He studied in Paris under Jacques-Louis David. In 1837 he was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts, and he was Director of the French Academy in Rome (1841-1846 and 1853-1866). He was made a Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in 1825, and Commander in 1866.
Jean Victor Schnetz's Les Adieux du consul Boëtius à sa famille (310 x 260; Musée des Augustins, Toulouse) was commissioned as a decoration for the rooms of the Conseil d'Etat in the Louvre. It was painted in 1826 and shown at the Salon of 1827. It entered the Musée du Luxembourg from 1836, until about 1860, and from 1874 until it was transferred to the Louvre in 1878. It was deposited at Toulouse in 1886.
In 1857, while a student in Paris, Whistler applied to copy Schnetz's oil, which was then in the Musée du Luxembourg. Whistler's Copy after Schnetz's 'Les Adieux du consul Boëtus à sa famille' y013 has not been located.
Roschach, Ernest, Catalogue des collections de peinture du Musée de Toulouse, Toulouse, 1920 [first ed. 1908], pp. 23, 133–4. Lacambre, Geneviève, Jacqueline de Rohan-Chabot, (eds.), Le Musée du Luxembourg en 1874, Paris, 1974 (cat. no. 214) painting by Schnetz repr. p. 165.
Musée du Louvre, D 1886 2; 259 (Ro); Inv. 7883 (Numéro d'inv. du musée du Louvre); RF 439 (Numéro d'inv. du musée du Louvre); see Roschach 1920 [more] , p. 23..