Louis XV, king of France, often called Jean-Baptiste Oudry to Versailles to paint the royal hounds--in the king's presence. "Monsieur Oudry had acquired such a habit of conversing with high-ranking persons and of working in their presence that he painted as calmly at the court as he would in his own studio," marveled a contemporary. Though his father was a painter and art dealer, Oudry's first serious training came from portrait painter Nicolas de Largillière. By about 1720, the young man was concentrating on animals, hunts, and landscapes. He became a member of the Académie de Peinture et de Sculpture in 1719 and a professor there in 1743. From 1726 Oudry had great success designing tapestries. In 1734 he was named director of the Beauvais tapestry manufactory, which he re-established by bringing in artists like François Boucher. Two years later, he became director of the Gobelins manufactory. Supervising all tapestry production gave Oudry considerable influence on French decorative arts. He also had a large studio and was literally overwhelmed by commissions. His clients included Czar Peter the Great of Russia and the Queen of Sweden. Oudry's work was marked by attention to detail combined with freedom of execution. A master of chiaroscuro, he maintained a lifelong interest in light and reflections.
N. (Newell) C. (Convers) Wyeth (October 22, 1882-October 19, 1945), is one of the most celebrated illustrators in the history of art. He grew up on a farm in New England, and studied at the Massachusetts Normal Arts School where he attended classes taught by illustrators Eric Pape and Charles W. Reed. During 1902-04 he studied with the great illustrator Howard Pyle in Wilmington, Delaware. Wyeth accepted a commission from Scribner's and the Saturday Evening Post to paint western scenes, and traveled in the west to gain first hand knowledge of subjects. He worked as a ranch hand in Colorado and rode mail routes in New Mexico and Arizona. In 1906, Wyeth and Carolyn Brenneman Bockius were married in the Wilmington Unitarian church, and they made their home in nearby Chadds Ford, Pennsylvania. The focus of his painting soon shifted to the land and people of the region in which he lived. In 1911, Wyeth won a commission from Charles Scribner's Sons to illustrate a new edition of R. L. Stevenson's Treasure Island, a work that made him famous. He provided illustrations for dozens of other classic books, including Kidnapped (1913), The Black Arrow (1916), The Legends of Robin Hood (1917), The Last of the Mohicans (1919), and The Yearling (1939).