The Sportsman's Season (Hunter with a Pointer) (Primary Title)

William Merritt Chase, American, 1849 - 1916 (Artist)

oil on canvas
Unframed: 25 7/8 × 35 1/2 in. (65.72 × 90.17 cm)
Framed: 40 × 50 × 5 1/4 in. (101.6 × 127 × 13.34 cm)
In this rustic landscape, a worn dirt road and natural field appear undisturbed by human “progress.” Free-growing grasses breach the road’s edge, while native shrubs in dusty tones obscure a hunting dog’s prey. The sense of a vast preserve coupled with the visual promise of a pleasant day suggests a peaceful coexistence of nature and the sportsman, whose figure blends in with the autumn color. The Sportsman’s Season responds to period concerns with environmental conservation. The sportsman was identified with an elite class of leisured naturalists dedicated to protecting the rural landscape and its wildlife. In 1894 Congress passed the National Park Protective Act and similar measures were enacted by states. The movement coincided with the close of the American frontier, officially declared by the U.S. Census Bureau in 1893.
At lower left: W.M. Chase
James W. and Frances Gibson McGlothlin Collection

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