Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819-1905)

  • Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819-1905)
  • Two Baby Chicks, February 6, 1879
  • Watercolor and gouache on paper
  • 5 ½ x 8 inches
  • Signed, dated February 6, 1879 and inscribed NY, lower right

From the start of his painting career in America, Tait focused on birds and animals. He began with still-life studies of waterfowl he had shot in the wetlands of Long Island or New Jersey. Tait's signature technique for achieving the texture of feathers involved wrapping corded silk around his finger and rolling it over the semi-dried oil paint until he achieved the desired quality. In 1854, the printmaking firm Currier & Ives published American Feathered Game after four of Tait's waterfowl paintings. The timing was opportune for Tait's success, as an interest in field sports was on the rise in America.

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Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait Two Baby Chicks, February 6, 1879
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait Two Baby Chicks, February 6, 1879