L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e ~ D o s t o ï e v s k i

L a - b e a u t é - s a u v e r a - l e - m o n d e  ~  D o s t o ï e v s k i

Friday, July 1, 2022

"Sit... stay...." - Three Dogs and a Macaw in a Park, by Jean-Baptiste Oudry, circa 1730s


Oudry's initial training was as a portrait painter. He also produced still-lifes, but by the 1720s had begun to specialize in hunting scenes, game pieces, and animal portraiture. In this large painting, the artist depicts three very distinctive dogs - a pug, a toy spaniel, and a small terrier - all with with a high degree of individuality. It seems likely that this painting was the result of a commission by one of Oudry's patrons for a portrait of their pets.


Jean-Baptiste Oudry (17 March 1686, Paris – 30 April 1755, Beauvais), French Rococo painter, engraver, and tapestry designer. He is particularly well known for his naturalistic pictures of animals and his hunt pieces depicting game. Though his father was a painter and art dealer, Oudry's first serious training came from portrait painter Nicolas de Largillière. By about 1720, the young man was concentrating on animals, hunts, and landscapes. He had become a member of the Académie de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1719 and went on to a professorship there in 1743. From 1726 he found great success designing tapestries, and in 1734 was named director of the Beauvais tapestry manufactory; two years later, he became director of the Gobelins manufactory. During that same decade, Louis XV appointed him Painter-in-Ordinary of the Royal Hunt, and he was granted a workshop in the Tuileries and an apartment in the Louvre. The king often called the artist to Versailles to paint the royal hounds - in the king's presence. In the words of a contemporary, "Monsieur Oudry had acquired such a habit of conversing with high-ranking persons and of working in their presence that he painted as calmly at the court as he would in his own studio." After a long, successful career, he suffered two strokes in quick succession. The second left him paralyzed and he died shortly thereafter at the age of sixty-nine.


  1. Dear Stephilius I've read every new post many years. I learn so much. Thank you for providing such a beautiful respite.

    1. That's so very sweet of you to say. Thank you so much!