Georges de Lastic and Pierre Jacky
The profile of a fawn, the massacre of a stag, the killing of a deer, hunting dogs from the Grand Dauphin’s pack, self-portrait as a hunter … We have all understood by the list of the titles: François Desportes (1661-1743) a contemporary of François de Troy and of Watteau, was an animal painter and above all a hunting painter. That is what posterity recalls about him, as well as the fact that he was an excellent drawer of dogs and cats. What we see in this monograph and in the catalogue raisonné, begun by Georges de Lastic and finished by Pierre Jacky, is the other aspect of this academic artist, who rubbed elbows with cosmopolitan Europe during the two yeas he spent at the court of Poland, under the reign of Jean III Sobieski, then protected by Louis XIV and Louis XV. Was also a remarkable botanist, a virtuoso of still lives and a brilliant inventor of «tropical» paintings in the same vein as Frans Post and Albert Eckhout, which makes him an unexpected forerunner of Douanier Rousseau.
Review published in the newsletter #200 - from 20 January 2011 to 26 January 2011