Jean Besnard is born in Paris in 1889. He is the son of the painter Albert Besnard and the sculptor Charlotte Dubray. He studies at the Lycée Carnot and then trained as a painter. At the age of 31, he devoted himself entirely to ceramics. Initiated by the ceramists Paul Jacquet and Étienne Avenard, he joined this second in his workshop in Ville-d'Avray. In 1922, Primavera, the art workshop of Printemps, publishes Jean Besnard's creations. From 1923 onwards, he participates in several salons; he exhibits at the Salon des artistes décorateurs, the Salon des Tuileries and the Salon d'Automne. In 1925, he presents his works at the Exposition des Arts décoratifs et industriels de Paris and received a silver medal for his work as a ceramist. The same year, he creates his company, Besnard et Cie, and moves to Ivry-Port in the factory of the ceramic engineer Paul Sailly. In Paris, he frequents and befriends several great decorative artists of his time, such as the decorator Jacques Adnet. His ceramics are a mixture of several different earthenware materials and colours. He disrupted the traditional glazing processes and used a palette of greys, pinks, pale ochres, rust, greens and blues. Jean Besnard is credited with inventing the so-called "crispé" white enamel, which gives ceramics the granite-like appearance of shagreen. The artist also works by integrating textile elements such as lace and tulle into certain objects. His works are inspired by pointillism as well as impressionist painting. Jean Besnard never moulds his pieces, so all of his works are unique. His ceramics can be found in the Musée du Luxembourg, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris and the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon. He dies in Nogent-sur-Marne in November 1958.