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 artist colleagues such as Utrillo or De Chirico.
Especially important to him was the influence of Jules Pascin. Egger establishes himself in Paris as a portrait painter of 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.
The first solo exhibitions he had in 1930 in the Parisian gallery Sloden and a year later in Vienna at Würthle. From 1932 settled in Mallorca, where he meets Joan Mirò, among others. When he contracted tuberculosis in 1934, Egger returned to Klagenfurt, where he died shortly thereafter. In 1939 Otto Kallir-Nirenstein organized a large retrospective of Jean Egger in his Paris “Galerie St. Etienne”.
In Austria, he was only considered for his 100th birthday with larger exhibitions.