A dog holds a struggling duck by its neck among reeds with a view of open water to right of centre and a water crowfoot at the bottom right. Desportes first painted this subject as a 'dessus de porte' (overdoor painting) for the Tuileries Palace in Paris. The artist came from a peasant family in the Ardennes and first studied art under a pupil of Frans Snyders, the Flemish animal and still life painter. His animal paintings became very popular, not least with Louis XIV and Louis XV. He broke new ground by making oil sketches of landscapes directly from nature in the open-air.
Where to see this painting?
The Bowes Museum
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