Fox Hunting Life with Horse and Hound

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Fourth Annual Sporting Art Auction at Keeneland

keeneland auction.drawn blank.michael lyneMichael Lyne (British 1912-1989), DRAWN BLANK, Watercolor, gouache, 17 x 23-3/4, $7,000 to $10,000

For American art lovers, the upcoming Sporting Art Auction on Monday, November 21, 2016, 4:00 pm, at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion should be of special interest. Several lots by contemporary American and European artists feature North American hunts. Two in particular of the Old Dominion Hounds (VA) were painted by the late Peter Biegel (British) in the latter part of the twentieth century. Click to view the catalog.

This annual auction combines the expertise of two renowned institutions: Keeneland, the world’s largest Thoroughbred auction house and Gregg Ladd's premier Gross Gate Gallery, both located in Lexington, Kentucky. The 2016 collection features 175 high-quality lots of paintings and sculpture from renowned masters as well as talented new artists. In the foxhunting genre alone, there are works by Peter Biegel, Julie Chapman, Richard DuPont, John Emms, Dede Gold, Harry Hall, Juli Kirk, J.B. Lalanne, Michael Lyne, LeRoy Nieman, Andre Pater, Belinda Sillars, Susie Whitcombe, and George Wright.

Fox Tales: Beth Carlson's Art

fox tales.carlson.sizedFox Tales: Beth Carlson’s Art, Dog & Horse Fine Art, LLC, 2015, hard bound, color, 32 pages, $39.00, available from the publisher

Book Review by Martha Woodham

It’s not often that art lovers get to spend time with an artist to learn about the background of a painting, to discover insights into the thinking behind the work. But a lovely new book by artist Beth Carlson is like a walk through a gallery of her paintings with the Maine artist as your guide.

In Fox Tales: Beth Carlson’s Art, the artist has used her paintbrush to capture her encounters with foxes over the years. Each full-page painting—many in private collections and reproduced in full color on substantial, coated paper stock—is accompanied by a short essay by the artist explaining the history of each artwork.

A Little Something to Hang

juli kirk.hounds on scent.10350Juli Kirk (American, born 1957), Hounds on Scent, oil on canvas, 24" x 36", signed, dated 2015. Click on any of the images for a larger view.

Through the kind permission of Greg Ladd, owner of the Cross Gate Gallery in Lexington, KY, Foxhunting Life is proud to report, along with a selection of riveting images, on the highly successful third annual Sporting Art Auction at the Keeneland Sales Pavilion held there on November 18, 2015. Racing and shooting sports were also well represented.

Each year, Ladd travels across the United States and Europe to acquire important works worthy of the attention of a discriminating clientele. Eighty-nine percent of all the works offered were sold, and thirty-seven percent sold for more than the high-end estimates. Sir Alfred Munnings’ signed and dated painting of the champion French Thoroughbred, Mon Talisman, brought the top price of $250,500. At the other end of the spectrum, a lovely hunting gouache of a Worcestershire Foxhounds scene sold for just $3,450.

The Mockers and Lionel Edwards

the mockers.lionel Mockers, 1925, by Lionel Edwards, gouache (click painting for a larger version)

In a recent Country Life article, Michael Clayton proclaims The Mockers by Lionel Edwards to be his favorite painting.

Clayton is former editor of Horse and Hound, author of numerous books, and well-known as Foxford for his long-running series of hunting reports in “Foxford’s Hunting Diary.” Clayton has probably hunted with every hunt in the UK over his long career as a sporting correspondent, and has personally known certainly all of the British contemporary artists of note. Because I respect Clayton’s opinion, because I’ve loved Lionel Edwards’s work ever since I first started hunting, and because I was sufficiently struck by the drama of the scene, I thought that Foxhunting Life readers might appreciate the painting as well.

“I have seen foxes ‘mocked’ in this way by birds,” says Clayton in the Country Life article. “It symbolises just how tough nature can be.”

Indeed, the fox is not only running from a pack of hounds, seen as mere white dots in the far distance at the left, but is being cruelly mobbed by the diving, swarming crows. The masterful rendering of the landscape under a somber sky, typical to the English Shires, was one of Lionel Edwards’s special talents. What was not so typical was this view of quarry and birds in the foreground, with horses and hounds—Edwards’s usual subjects—mere suggestions in the background.