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Alexandre-Fran�ois Desportes - French Artist From Art History

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Historical Artist - Alexandre-Fran�ois Desportes (1661 - 1743)

Alexandre-Francois Desportes began studying painting at the age of twelve at the insistence of his father. After living in Poland for a short while painting portraits of the Polish royal family, he returned to France to specialize in hunting scenes and still lifes. He soon became the preferred painter of King Louis XIV and King Louis XV of France who commissioned him to paint their hunts and favorite dogs. Desportes also decorated several royal houses and designed tapestries. He also did decorative paintings for the duc de Bourbon at Chantilly. Both Louis XIV and Louis XV commissioned portraits of their favorite hunting dogs. Desportes would follow the royal hunt with a small notebook he carried to make on-site sketches for still lives of the game that resulted from the day's hunt, for the king to make a choice of which were to be worked up into finished paintings. In several paintings he combined game with a buffet of spectacular pieces of silver as they might be displayed in a dining room; these are precious documents of the lost silver of the reign of Louis XIV.

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