The brilliant colors of this French nature morte are quite impressive, allowing the imagery to be seen crystal clear. Oil enhancements have been applied to this 20th-century transferred image to evoke similarities to the painting that it is after, which is currently housed in Le Louvre Museum in Paris. Our version is incredibly well-done and true to the Alexandre François Desportes original, which is entitled Game, Fruit, Flowers, and a Dog (1712) (see final detail photo).
A variety of felled game (a rabbit and six birds) and a hunting rifle are displayed next to a stone fountain with a mythical creature mascaron water feature. The gadrooned basin is not filled with water, but rather a woven basket of blueberries next to a cluster of fruits including peaches and cherries (there is also a blue and white ceramic bowl full of peaches on a stone to the right of the fountain). Vibrant flowers in a wicker basket sit atop the thickly molded entablature of the cream-colored fountain. A pink rose bush grows on one side of the fountain, opposite from large, verdant bushes that obscure most of the blue sky. Laying beneath the fountain basin is a white hunting dog with black markings on its ears and face.
Desportes was born in 1661 in Champigneulle, in northern France, later studying in Paris with the Flemish painter, Bernaerts. Initially, Desportes was a well-respected portrait painter, living in Poland during his mid-thirties to paint aristocrats such as King John III Sobieski. Upon the king’s death, Desportes returned to Paris and switched his focus to painting animals and floral arrangements. Both Louis XIV and Louis XIV commissioned Desportes to paint portraits of their favorite hunting dogs. Desportes would often join the kings on royal hunts, where he would travel with a notebook for still life sketches, which would later be incorporated into portraits for the monarchs.
CONDITION: Transferred image with oil paint enhancements. Very good condition, with light wear to the edges that have been stretched over the wood support. No framing or rigging for hanging purposes.