Chickens and doves by a wicker basket and trug
Signed and dated, lower right: E Hunt 1911
Oil on canvas 12 x 16⅛ in – 30.5 x 41 cm
Framed size 15½ x 19½ in – 39.4 x 49.5 cm
Private collection, UK
Edgar Hunt was born in Birmingham in 1876, the nephew of the animal painter Walter Hunt (1861-1941). Walter Hunt was a regular exhibitor at the Royal Academy from 1881, his exhibit of 1885 “Dog in the Manger” being purchased by the Chantrey bequest.
Whereas Walter Hunt painted rural genre scenes in addition to his compositions featuring cattle and horses Edgar was purely a painter of the farmyard. A “Farmyard Romantic” Edgar Hunt portrayed poultry, cattle, horses, doves and donkeys in idealised and sanitised settings. With his highly detailed technique he was the foremost painter of his generation in this genre. It was a genre that was very much an element of the rural tradition, itself a genre of enormous appeal to those with a hankering for the countryside. It is of course no coincidence that Hunt was painting in Birmingham, the leading manufacturing city in the country and home to a wealthy body of collectors who appreciated these highly finished rural subjects.
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Bibliography: Algernon Graves, FSA “The Royal Academy of Arts” Christopher Wood “Dictionary of Victorian Artists”