Alexandre-François Desportes (1661 -1743, French) born in Champigneulle, France, was a French realistic painter of flowers, animals and hunting scenes. His paintings exhibit a strong influence from his teacher Frans Snyders. His first important work was a self-portrait with the artist sitting amongst animals in a landscape scene. With this work, Desportes caught the eye of the French Royalty and was commissioned to paint decorative panels at Versailles. Both Louis XIV and Louis XV also commissioned him to paint their favorite hunting dogs.
In order to render the most realistic paintings of hunting scenes, Desportes would carry a notebook with him on hunts and sketch. Some of his works were included in tapestries.
Many of his paintings include cats as thieves or in fights with dogs. Realistically dramatic, the paintings portray cats’ feral nature.