French. Eldest son of Pierre de Saint Seine and Genevieve de Meixmoron de Dombasle, Jacques lived first in Nancy, where his father owned a factory of agricultural material.
In 1914, when he was seventeen, he enlisted in the army. At the end of World War I, he spent three years near Toulouse learning the techniques of agriculture, then, in 1922, left for Senegal, in French West Africa, where he took up peanut farming.
This occupation never gave him as much satisfaction as painting, and around 1950, he explored Gambia and French Guinea in order to paint scenes of tribal life.
He returned to Senegal some ten years later and settled in Ziguinchor, in the Casamance. There he created African-style pieces of furniture which he sold, together with his pictures, to passing Europeans. He also did large mural paintings for the Zinguinchor airport.