Edgar Hunt (1876 - 1953)
Born in Birmingham, U.K., in 1876, both Hunt and his brother Walter followed in the family tradition of painting. Never formally trained in art, his father, Charles Hunt, Jr. (1829-1900), taught him to paint, and the short time he spent working on a farm in Sussex endeared him to animals. His close friend, artist John Frederick Herring, Jr. (1815-1907), influenced his style as they both followed Sir Edwin Henry Landseer in the tradition of animal painting.
As the Industrial Revolution swept through England, the new middle class found themselves longing for nostalgic tokens from their rural histories. Animal painting was appealing for its uncomplicated imagery and modest content that evoked a simpler time. Hunt excelled in the portrayal of animals, particularly in his meticulously detailed farmyard scenes. His realistic chickens, ducks, dogs, and donkeys were all lovingly rendered with lifelike sentimentality. The subtly muted palette comes alive with vivid reds and oranges, as no hair, feather, and straw of hay goes overlooked. Though he rarely exhibited his work, he did exhibit eleven animal scenes at the Royal Society of Artists in Birmingham and Feathered Friends was featured at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool. Throughout his life and beyond Hunt remained popular with collectors who eagerly sought his work.