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Edmund H. Osthaus (1858-1928) A Fine Pair
signed "Edmund Osthaus" lower right
oil on canvas, 29 1/4 by 22 1/2 in.
According to the consignor, this work is one of five paintings commissioned by the MacDonald family from Edmund Osthaus. The family, known for breeding AKC-quality setters in Kentucky, retained three of the works for many years. Additionally, a note from Sandra MacDonald indicates the painting “was donated in my mother[’]s name to [the] Long Beach Museum of Fine Arts. The Museum never came to be. The painting was returned to my father CG Macdonald. It is now [in] an Estate of my father[‘s]. Who died Nov[ember] 2, 1969.”
The two setters in this autumnal work exemplify Osthaus’ dedication to field trials and sporting dogs. The work perfectly captures a realistic fall landscape with golden grasses and russet leaves. The fit dogs are rendered in masterful detail, as their taut bodies, full of energy, with feathered tails, lead the viewer’s eye through a dynamic, diagonal composition. The confident artist, with his wealth of knowledge of bird dogs allows us the viewers to take in an up-close moment in the field.
Provenance: Private Collection, California, acquired from Fisher Galleries, Palm Springs, California, 1974
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