American Painter, 1855-1942 Related Paintings of Hirst, Claude Raguet :. | Basket of Pansies | A Favorite Stanza | Book closed over Spectacles | Lord Chesterfield-s Letters to His son | Frontispiece of the Mount Auburn Young Ladies-Institute-s |
Related Artists:John James Audubon
Audubon, John James ~ Bobwhite (Virginia Partridge), 1825Audubon developed his own methods for drawing birds. First, he killed them using fine shot to prevent them from being torn to pieces. He then used fixed wires to prop them up into a natural position, unlike the common method of many ornithologists of first preparing and stuffing the specimens into a rigid pose. When working on a major specimen, like an eagle, he would spend up to four 15 hour days, preparing, studying, and drawing it. His paintings of birds are set true-to-life in their natural habitat and often caught them in motion, especially feeding or hunting. This was in stark contrast with the stiff representations of birds by his contemporaries, such as Alexander Wilson. He also based his paintings on his own field observations.
He worked primarily with watercolor early on, then added colored chalk or pastel to add softness to feathers, especially those of owls and herons. He would employ multiple layers of watercoloring, and sometimes use gouache. Small species were often drawn to scale, placed on branches with berries, fruit, and flowers, sometimes in flight, and often with many individual birds to present all views of anatomy. Larger birds were often placed in their ground habitat or perching on stumps. At times, as with woodpeckers, he would combine several species on one page to offer contrasting features. Nests and eggs are frequently depicted as well, and occasionally predators, such as snakes. He usually illustrated male and female variations, and sometimes juveniles. In later drawings, he had aides render the habitat for him. Going behind faithful renderings of anatomy, Audubon employed carefully constructed composition, drama, and slightly exaggerated poses to achieve artistic as well as scientific effects.Erik Werenskiold
Norwegian Realist Painter, 1855-1936David Hunter Strother
Strother was born in Martinsburg, Virginia (now West Virginia). He studied drawing under Pietro Aneora in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania from 1829 to 1836 when he became a student of Samuel F. B. Morse in New York. Strother was an artist for The Crayon, the leading art journal of the United States at the time, and a frequent contributor to Harper's Monthly. Most of his early work was comprised of landscapes and other outdoor scenes. His art pertained mostly to Virginia and the Southern United States. Prior to the American Civil War, his art was published in books titled The Blackwater Chronicle (1853) and Virginia Illustrated (1857).
During the Civil War, Strother was commissioned by the U.S. Army and assigned as a topographer due to his detailed knowledge of the Shenandoah Valley. During this time, Strother recorded his experiences in the war which he would later publish in Harper's Monthly as "Personal Recollections of the War." His accounts are considered to be unique and are highly praised for their objective viewpoint. He was involved in 30 battles, though never wounded, and was brevetted brigadier general by the War's end.
After the war, topics of his pieces covered a wider range of subjects. Strother began to make works which commented on politics and race relations. He even sketched a portrait of Chief Sitting Bull. Some of his drawings were merely of individuals and groups going about their daily lives.
Strother ended his career as an artist when he was appointed by President Rutherford B. Hayes to be the General Consul to Mexico City in 1879. He returned to West Virginia in 1885 and died there three years later. The New York Times published an obituary in which it is stated that his name was a household one during his career. Strother is buried in Green Hill Cemetery in Martinsburg, West Virginia.