Born in Hüttenberg in Carinthia in 1897, he studied at the Munich Academy, made his first trips to Holland and Italy in 1923 and came to Paris in 1924, where he made important social contacts and made acquaintances with fellow artists such as Utrillo and De Chirico.
The influence of Jules Pascin was particularly important to him. Egger establishes himself in Paris as a portrait painter of the celebrities, thanks to his contacts with the brother of the French politician Clemenceau. From 1926 participations in several exhibitions in Paris, Bordeaux and New York.
He had his first solo exhibitions in 1930 at the Galerie Sloden in Paris and a year later in Vienna with Würthle. From 1932 he settled in Mallorca, where he met Joan Miro, among others. When he fell ill with tuberculosis in 1934, Egger returned to Klagenfurt, where he died shortly afterwards. In 1939 Otto Kallir-Nirenstein organized a major retrospective of Jean Egger in his Parisian “Galerie St. Etienne”.
In Austria, he was only made his 100th birthday with larger exhibitions.