A Brace of Pheasants
Research by Sarah Kellam
Great Great Grand-daughter of Richard Ansdell
Acc No 16
Artist Richard Ansdell
Artist dates 1815-1885
Medium Oil on canvas
Size 36.5 x 22.5 in
Date painted 1868
Inscr: Signed and dated (L.R.)
Inscribed on reverse 'Richard Ansdell RA 1868'
Donor Gift from Bowman family in memory of Benjamin Bowman (1860-1940)
Date donated 14 June 1955
A beautifully painted studio piece of a male and female pheasant. Ansdell was known to have made intricate studies of dead birds – mainly game birds – and he had plenty of scope for this as he accompanied many members of the aristocracy and landowners on their shooting expeditions as an artist in residence. It was through his sporting paintings that he became well–known and in high demand, recording these shoots before photography was universally used. He was fascinated by the plumage of birds as can be seen in this painting. He saw a dead bird as a thing of beauty and never overdid the blood.
The link to his friend, James Eden, makes this picture particularly pertinent to Lytham. Ansdell named one of his sons, Richard Eden Ansdell, after James Eden. Braces of game birds were often passed between households as gifts for the table.
Notes of Interest
Painted 4 years after Richard Ansdell sold 'Starr Hills' but proof that he remained friends with James Eden.
The label on the birds reads 'James Eden, 1st October'.
To view the complete artworks of Richard Ansdell in the Collection please click on his name under Artists on the Home Page.
Sarah Kellam is the Great Great Grand- daughter of Richard Ansdell