Though Oudry was a prolific draftsman, he purposely kept his drawings during his lifetime, hoping that they would be an asset for his heirs after his death.
Jean-Baptiste Oudry began his career as a portraitist but gradually became known for his paintings of animals and hunting scenes. These images attracted the attention of Louis XV, and Oudry became one of France's foremost decorative painters during the king's reign. Here, the artist highlighted a violent battle between a sow and a group of dogs. The drawing relates to one of Oudry's most successful Salon paintings, which was exhibited to great acclaim in 1748. The sketchy lines and lack of detail throughout the sheet suggest that it was likely a study made in preparation for the later canvas, which was purchased by Louis XV and installed in one of his homes.
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