One of the most accomplished animal painters of his day, Edgar Hunt is best known for his farmyard pictures, His style is distinguished by a meticulous attention to detail and finish. He excelled in his evocative portrayal of many animal types, but was most fascinated by the rich colouration and textural effects required to describe birds- in particular chickens.
Edgar Hunt’s early work tended to portray farm animals within barns, while his later paintings included domestic animals and landscape effects. He always based his paintings upon vivid and careful drawings of animals made from life.
The Hunt family were very artistic. Edgar’s father Charles was a painter and art teacher. He specialized in scenes of children, often in the company of animals or comical portrayals of artisans. Charles Hunt married Anne Kilbee and several of their eight children took up the artistic profession.
Edgar Hunt was devoted to animals from a very early age. He had originally intended to take up the profession of a farmer. He worked on a farm near Lewes in Sussex exchanging his labour for the cost of painting materials.
Very little is known of the artist’s private life. Edgar Hunt was not a public man and rarely exhibited in the spectacle of the London art world.
Edgar Hunt did show eleven animal scenes at the Royal Society of Artists, Birmingham and “Feathered Friends” was exhibited at the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. His original popularity with collectors in the Midlands remains the case. He was a devoted friend of the artist John Frederick Herring Jnr, by whom he was influenced both artistically and socially.
Edgar Hunt, was profoundly distraught when Herring died in 1907 and became a recluse on his farm in Sussex.
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