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In the 1840s and 1850s, Ranney drew acclaim for his genre scenes of trappers, mountain men, and hunters. He employed Old World artistic traditions to celebrate the pioneering spirit and natural resources of the New World. Here, he pictures a man kneeling to examine an injured hunting dog. She sits trustingly under his care while another hunter looks on. The reassuring stability of the composition, with its monumental figures and steady light source, suggests a positive outcome to the day’s mishap. The Bible-literate audience of the era may have also recognized an allusion to the Good Shepherd.
signed, lower center-left: "W. Ranney"
signed and dated on verso: "W. Ranney / 1850"
J. Harwood and Louise B. Cochrane Fund for American Art
Side-By-Side with Gun and Dog, National Sporting Library & Museum, MIddleburg, Virginia, September 25, 2015 - March 20, 2016
Forging an American Identity: The Art of William Ranney, Speed Art Museum, September 29, 2006 - January 1, 2007; Amon Carter Museum, February 10 - May 13, 2007; Philadelphia Museum of Art, June 23 - August 26, 2007
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC
Some object records are not complete and do not reflect VMFA's full and current knowledge. VMFA makes routine updates as records are reviewed and enhanced.
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