Sharp-shinned Hawk, Oil on canvas on paperboard, 1876, 14 16 7/8” (35.56 x 42.8 cm), Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946), British, Naturalized U.S. Citizen, 1931, ALL#5017

Seton painted his first major oil painting at the age of sixteen prior to beginning formal art training. He found the Sharp-shinned hawk already dead. Taking it back to his studio, he mounted the bird on a frame to hold it in a lifelike position simulating flight in contrast to featureless sky. He unknowingly copied the practice of John James Audubon, working from a newly dead rather than stuffed specimen on a similarly constructed mount. Seton added his signature decades later.

Credit Line: Academy for the Love of Learning, Santa Fe, New Mexico. All rights reserved. Reproduction permission.   

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