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Alexandre-François Desportes (1661-1743)

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Stag at Bay
(Alexandre-François Desportes, 1729, Public domain)

Alexandre-François Desportes (1661-1743)

Recognized as the first French animal painter, Alexandre-François Desportes was born in 1661. He studied art with Nicasius Bernaerts, a Dutch painter highly regarded for his canvases of animals, before being accepted by the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture.

Over the course of his career, Alexandre-François Desportes created many paintings of hunting scenes or the pets of his customers, often of very high social rank. Indeed, he even held the post of Court Painter of Hunting and the Royal Pack, a position consisting of painting the King in action during his expeditions in search of game.

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