While Mount Monadnock and the fields and forests of southern New Hampshire provided a wealth of inspiration, William Preston Phelps was also fond of painting his fellow citizens engaged in activities of everyday life in New England. Sprinkled among his oeuvre of expansive views of the region, these more intimate landscapes featured figures skating over frozen ponds, harvesting maple syrup, tending to their farms and livestock or, in the case of Rabbit Hunters, engaged in an age-old sporting pastime. Under cloudy late fall skies, the gentlemen confer over their quarry, with their dog sitting contentedly by having successfully flushed the rabbit from the brush. Like other examples of his genre work, the painting demonstrates Phelps’ eye for detail in rendering the figures, and the delicate leaves and rambling stone wall nearby, as well as his sensitive interpretation of the season’s crisp atmosphere.
More information about this painting...
To Robert C. Vose, Jr., Boston, Massachusetts, by 1959
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 19879, August 1959
To private collection, Brockton, Massachusetts, December 1959
By descent within the family to private collection, Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, until 2003
With Vose Galleries, Boston, inventory no. 33980, September 2003
To private collection, Rochester, Minnesota, May 2004
Eventually to collection, New York, New York
1). Previous Vose Galleries label, inventory no. 33980
2). Godel and Co. Fine Art, New York, New York, with painting description