Wolf and Deer, N.D., Oil on canvas, 16 x 22 3/4” (40.5 x 57.6cm), ALL#4027. Ernest Thompson Seton (1860-1946), British, Naturalized U.S. Citizen, 1931
The ancient contest between predator and prey plays out in a flash. Wolf and deer focus solely on one another as all the other details of their world become an insignificant blur. The wolf has a slight speed advantage, but the white-tailed deer is already disappearing into the storm. The survival of both depends upon the outcome, tragedy or triumph arising from whether the wolf loses momentum on an icy patch, or the deer loses its distancing advantage by stumbling into a snow drift. Here Seton shows us nature at its least romantic. He does not shy away from the hard truths of life and death.