OIL ON CANVAS, 19.5 x 23.5 INCHES / SIGNED LOWER RIGHT (A.F. TAIT) AND LOWER LEFT (H.HILL)
Tait was born in Liverpool, England and later moved to Manchester. Trained as a lithographer, he taught himself to paint by copying art works at the Royal Manchester Institute. In the 1840s, Tait assisted American Indian artist George Catlin, who was touring England with his Indian exhibition. In 1850 Tait moved to New York City, spending his summers in a camp on Long Lake in the Adirondacks, where he pursued his interest in nature and hunting sparked by Caitlin. Tait adhered to Victorian art critic John Ruskin’s “truth to nature” philosophy, rendering exquisitely detailed works of wildlife in their native habitat.
He is recognized as America’s first well-known sporting artist. His game still lifes influenced a later generation of still life artists, notably Thomas Hartnett. Although Tait never traveled west of Chicago, he completed a series of western genre scenes with Louis Mauer and collaborated on cattle paintings with James Hart, the noted Hudson River School artist. In this painting, Tait painted the birds and genre artist Howard Hill (maternal grandfather of Norman Rockwell) painted the background.