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  • A vivacious chase swirling uphill, a lady riding sidesaddle, the noble profile of the stag and the pursuing hounds: every element in “Stag Hunt” has been infused with elegance. This work epitomizes a shift occurring in the social practice of hunting. Whereas Francis Barlow depicts hunting mostly as a physical and strenuous activity, Wyck shows it as a fashionable pastime. In fact, the present scene may have less to do with “hunting” than with “sporting,” associated with recreation and amusement. Sporting embodied politeness and refinement. It was believed that nobility could be attained through horsemanship, closely associated with the ancient glory of chivalry. Given that sporting required vast open spaces, the representation of landscape in works of art quickly became a pretext to show prosperity. Sporting scenes such as this one were also seen as a celebration of country life; for opulent residents of large seventeenth- and eighteenth-century metropolises, being able to live outside the city was perceived as beneficial to health and as a sign of wealth. This composition is a fine example of Wyck’s ability to merge the genres of landscape and hunting scenes. Unlike most sporting painters, as an author once judiciously observed, Wyck “contrived really to make pictures for the connoisseur without disappointing the sportsman” (Grant, 1957, p. 46).
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  • A vivacious chase swirling uphill, a lady riding sidesaddle, the noble profile of the stag and the pursuing hounds: every element in “Stag Hunt” has been infused with elegance. This work epitomizes a shift occurring in the social practice of hunting. Whereas Francis Barlow depicts hunting mostly as a physical and strenuous activity, Wyck shows it as a fashionable pastime. In fact, the present scene may have less to do with “hunting” than with “sporting,” associated with recreation and amusement. Sporting embodied politeness and refinement. It was believed that nobility could be attained through horsemanship, closely associated with the ancient glory of chivalry. Given that sporting required vast open spaces, the representation of landscape in works of art quickly became a pretext to show prosperity. Sporting scenes such as this one were also seen as a celebration of country life; for opulent residents of large seventeenth- and eighteenth-century metropolises, being able to live outside the city was perceived as beneficial to health and as a sign of wealth. This composition is a fine example of Wyck’s ability to merge the genres of landscape and hunting scenes. Unlike most sporting painters, as an author once judiciously observed, Wyck “contrived really to make pictures for the connoisseur without disappointing the sportsman” (Grant, 1957, p. 46).
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  • Alternate title :: A Staghunt
  • Bibliograpic reference :: John Baskett, Paul Mellon's legacy, a passion for British art : masterpieces from the Yale Center for British Art, Yale Center for British Art, New Haven, CT, 2007, p. 246, no. 12, N5220 M552 P38 2007 OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Bibliograpic reference :: Maurice Harold Grant, A chronological history of the old English landscape painters (in oil), From the XVIth century to the XIXth century, 8 v., F. Lewis, Publishers, Limited, London, UK, 1957, p. 46, ND1354 G73 1957 OVERSIZE (YCBA)
  • Dimension height :: 47.6cm
  • Dimension width :: 32.7cm
  • Exhibition :: An American's Passion for British Art - Paul Mellon's Legacy
  • Exhibition :: Drawing in England from Hilliard to Hogarth
  • Exhibition :: Paul Mellon's Legacy : A Passion for British Art
  • Located in :: New Haven
  • Located in :: Not on view
  • Located in :: Yale Center for British Art
  • Object type :: drawing
  • Object type :: watercolor
  • Subject Concept :: Landscape
  • Subject Concept :: animal art
  • Subject Concept :: deer
  • Subject Concept :: hunt
  • Subject Concept :: riders, horseback
  • Subject Concept :: sporting art
  • Subject Concept :: trees
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  • ...
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  • Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection
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  • Staghunt
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