Edgar Hunt (1876-1955)

Edgar Hunt (1876-1955)

Edgar Hunt’s charming depictions of farm life came to define his successful career. His gifts for this subject were evident at an early age, owing to his artistic lineage; his grandfather, father and brother were all reputable painters of genre and animal subjects. Born in Birmingham, England, in 1876, Hunt initially hoped to become a farmer and spent time working the land near England’s southern coast before turning his attention to painting. His only training came courtesy of his father, Charles Hunt, Jr., and his name soon became synonymous with bucolic barnyard and stable scenes, ideally rendered yet with a keen eye for detail. Hunt was especially drawn to poultry, pigeons and other winged denizens of these country homesteads, and found a ready market among Victorian collectors seeking respite from the commotion of city life. With the Industrial Revolution in full swing, the well-to-do had money to spend and a desire to be reminded of the quiet, simple pleasures captured in Hunt’s creations.

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Despite a sixty year age difference, Hunt befriended fellow animal painter John Frederick Herring, Jr., who became a mentor to him. He was greatly saddened by Herring’s death in 1907 and withdrew to his farm, where he led a reclusive existence and found solace in caring for the birds and animals that populate his paintings. Hunt rarely exhibited his work and only seldom took part in shows at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham, yet his reputation remained strong, and today his scenes of animal life offer a renewed sense of tranquility to collectors living in an increasingly complicated world.

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