Claude-Louis DESRAIS

Paris 1746 - Paris 1816


A student at the Académie Royale from 1764, Claude-Louis Desrais seems to have been active almost exclusively as a draughtsman. He received most of his artistic training in the studio of the battle painter Francesco Casanova, and between 1768 and 1772 exhibited his drawings at four of the annual Expositions de la Jeunesse, eliciting a measure of critical appreciation. After spending much of his early career working in a neoclassical style, he eventually abandoned this manner to become, as one scholar has noted, ‘one of the most sought-after illustrators of the last third of the eighteenth century, specializing, even under the Empire, in fashion plates, portraits of famous men and military and historical scenes.’