Pondering, 1924

by Edgar Hunt


Dimensions: (unframed) 11 x 15 inches (27.9 x 38.1 cm)
Signature: Signed ‘E. Hunt’ and dated (lower right)
Medium: Oil on canvas

This painting is a charming farmyard scene from the well-known oeuvre of animal painter Edgar Hunt. It is a perfect image of idyllic country life, and would have been very appealing to wealthy city-dwellers of the early Twentieth Century, who yearned for the peaceful country life that existed before industrialisation.


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    Catalogue No: 6014 Categories: ,

    One of the most accomplished animal painters of his day, Edgar Hunt is famous for his farmyard paintings, such as this one, created with meticulous detail, physical accuracy and tenderness.

    Edgar Hunt had no formal art training, but was taught by his father, Charles Hunt. Charles painted farmyard and interior scenes in a typically Victorian style. Edgar developed his own trademark style, which constituted idealised farmyard scenes, with animals always being the subject. His works are exquisitely detailed, and his observation of farm animals was unparalleled in his time.

    Private collection, United Kingdom

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    Edgar Hunt was born in Birmingham of humble parentage, the son of a part-time art teacher, who greatly encouraged his son’s talent. Edgar painted birds and fruit as well as his well-known animal subjects. As a child, Edgar spent much of his time sketching from farm life, and was considerably influenced by his brother, Walter Hunt, a skilful animal painter in his own right.

    By his mid twenties he had made up his mind to devote himself entirely to the depiction of farmyard animals. His compositions, usually on small canvases, were mostly of farmyard scenes in which domestic poultry and their broods predominated; although calves, pigs and rabbits were often introduced. He worked in a meticulous manner not a feather or a hair was out of place. His style is immediately recognisable, hardly changing throughout his career. Edgar was of a retiring disposition and seldom exhibited his work, preferring to spend his life with the animals he owned and lovingly painted .

    Edgar was a great admirer and friend of John Frederick Herring Junior. When Herring died in 1907, Edgar was inconsolably bereaved and became almost a recluse, rarely leaving his farm. Edgar however was still very much in demand by his patrons. His patronage wanted uncomplicated images to which they could relate immediately and without troublesome intellectual effort. Hunt also incorporated an element of sentimentality to elicit the maximum emotional response. He exhibited at the Royal Society of Artists and at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.


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