“Alfred Sainte -Marie
(Active 1853-70) French
Title A Portuguese Pointer Guarding the Gun
Category 19th Century
Medium & Size Oil on canvas: 32×25 inches. (Frame: 41x35inches.)Signed â€˜Ste-Marie lower left. Circa 1860.
He was born and brought up in Paris and was a pupil of Louis Roux
Sainte-Marie had a technique that was very polished, with a very precise style and beautifully â€œevenâ€ paint application.
He specialised in painting genre scenes, landscapes, animals and hunting scenes- these he usually did in oils. A featured work by him was entitled â€œPoste aux Cheveauxâ€ and was typical of many hunting scenes done by the artist.
The tradition of the hunt in France has a long and venerable history and it is noted that packs of hounds existed in France long before the Roman conquest. After the fall of the Roman Empire, France was at the forefront of developing hunting for game and the sport of â€œveneryâ€. Consequently large hunting establishments were set up and hounds were held in high esteem and often presented as gifts to visiting dignitaries. With this background it is easy to see how hunting with hounds had been absorbed into the fabric of French Society by the time of Sainte-Marie. Increasingly in the nineteenth century dogs became an important part of the French family and their fondness for everything canine is reflected in the fact that were said to be 100,000 dogs in Paris alone.
While Saine-Marie will probably be best remembered for his skilful depiction of the French passion for everything to do with hunting and dogs, his love of the French way of life and the people in it also shines through in a lasting way in his art. He regularly exhibited his work at the Paris Salon between 1853 and 1870 and his paintings are held in various private collections.