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Roe Hunt or Roe at Bay

Jean-Baptiste Oudry

(1686 - 1755) | D.820.1

Date : 1725 | Medium : Oil on canvas

Commissioned in 1724 by Louis XV for the guard room of the Château de Chantilly; confiscated during the French Revolution

The Roe Hunt was commissioned from Oudry by the young Louis XV along with two other hunting scenes (Fox Hunt and Wolf Hunt at Chantilly, Condé Museum). This was the artist's first royal commission and the first time the king had commissioned a painting. He gave it to his cousin, the Duke of Bourbon, as a thank-you for the hospitality extended to him at Chantilly. These three hunting scenes are displayed in the guard room of the Château alongside three other hunt paintings by Desportes (1719).

Oudry is notable for his strong decorative sense: the elegance of the roe at bay as it is circled and seized upon by the dogs without visible signs of suffering. The pale landscape and soft reflections of the animals' coats lend a certain brightness to the scene, despite its fatal outcome. Louis XV later commissioned Oudry to paint a portrait of his dogs and a number of hunting scenes.