At the age of twelve, Alexandre-François Desportes was sent by his father to Paris to study painting. He learned to carefully observe nature for his works. After a brief period in Poland, where he painted a number of portraits of members of the Polish royal family, Desportes returned to France. He decided that there was a more lucrative market for artists specializing in hunting scenes, studies of dogs, and still life pictures of fruit and flowers. His assumption was correct, and he became a favorite painter of two kings of France, Louis XIV and Louis XV. They commissioned him to record royal hunts and their favorite dogs, and he also worked on the decoration of several of the royal houses, including designing tapestries.