Claude-Louis Desrais, sometimes spelt Desray, lived all his life in Paris, and learned drawing and painting with the Italian artist Francesco Casanova (1727–1803), the younger brother of Giacomo Casanova, the great lover and writer.

For several years from 1778 Desrais was one of the designers who worked on illustrations for the Galerie des modes et costumes français, and in 1785–6 he designed the fashion plates for the Cabinet des modes. In 1793–4 he produced a series of allegorical figures for the print dealer Paul-André Basset (1759–1829) in the rue Saint-Jacques, which were engraved by Antoine Carrée.

Une femme rencontrée sur les Champs Elysées (A Woman Met on the Champs Elysées), c.1780


Example illustration