The Rouen Clair is a modern development of the traditional Mallard-coloured ducks from the Rouen area of France. It is distinguished from the Rouen foncé by the pale (Isabelle clair) ground colour of the female, the slightly upright carriage and a number of other characteristics common to the light-phase plumage.
The modern Rouen Clair is largely the result of breeding accomplished by Monsieur Rene Garry between 1910 and 1920. Beginning with birds selected from farms in the area of Picardy, he proceeded to develop bloodlines primarily for size and plumage colour. Further bloodlines, involving Rouen–Mallard crosses, improved the vigour and resulted in a large, light-phase, commercial duck, first standardised in France in 1923 and in Great Britain in 1982.