Adan, was a pupil of François Picot and Alexandre Cabanel at the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris. He exhibited at all the Salons from 1863 until 1937. His submissions earned him several medals, including a third medal in 1875, a second medal in 1882 and the gold medal in 1889. He was made a Chevalier de la Légion d’Honneur in 1892 and formed part of the jury of the Salon and of the committee of the Salon des Artistes Français in 1900. He was awarded the Prix Bonnat in 1931.