Despohtes, Francis

, an eminent painter, was born at the village of Champigneul, in Champagne, in 1661; and being a disciple of Nicasius, a Flemish painter, imitated his manner of painting. The subjects he selected were flowers, insects, animals, and representations of the chace, which he designed and coloured with much truth; his local colours being very good, and the aerial perspective well managed. He was chiefly employed in the service of Lewis XIV.; and accompanied the French ambassader, the duke d’Aumont, to London, where he was much encouraged, particularly by the duke of Richmond and lord Bolingbroke. The hotels of Paris, and the palaces of Versailles, Marli, &c. contain many specimens by this artist, who died at a very advanced age, in 1743. The present Imperial Museum has his portrait, which was engraved by Poullain, and three pictures by him, of great merit. 2


Argenville. Pilkiiujton. —Dict. Hist.