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The Master of the Hunt by Charles Haigh-Wood

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The Master of the Hunt by Charles Haigh-Wood

- Item No.

A self-satisfied society of gentlemen is the subject of this work by Charles Haigh-Wood

Key Features

  • Eighteenth-century vanity is the subject of this rare work by Charles Haigh-Wood
  • This 19th-century oil on canvas is entitled The Master of the Hunt
  • One of the most popular English genre painters, Haigh-Wood created a work of great detail
  • Signed C. Haigh-Wood. 04
  • Dated 1904
  • Canvas: 23" high x 30" wide; Frame: 35" high x 42" wide

Item Details

  • Width:
    C: 30; F: 42 Inches
  • Height:
    C: 23; F: 35 Inches
  • Period:
    20th Century
  • Origin:
  • Subject:
  • Artist:
    Haigh-Wood, Charles
Charles Haigh-Wood, R. A.
1856 - 1927 English

The Master of the Hunt

Oil on canvas
Signed "C. Haigh-Wood. 04"

An august society of 18th-century gentlemen raise a toast to themselves and to their next gathering in this excellent genre work by British artist Charles Haigh-Wood. Entitled The Master of the Hunt , this is an exceptional example of Haigh-Wood's timeless appeal. A work of rich detail, from the Medieval tapestry hanging behind the table to the men's clothing and the fine silver, this work calls to mind the excesses of nobility of the 1700s, and gently pokes fun at them as they give themselves airs. Such details as a spilled wine glass give this piece a wonderful depth and interest. 

The father-in-law of iconic poet T.S. Eliot through his daughter Vivienne, Charles Haigh-Wood was the son of Charles Wood, a gilder and picture framer in Bury, Lancashire and Mary Haigh. His mother had inherited seven properties in an affluent suburb of Dublin, which gave the family considerable financial stability, which Haigh-wood would be able to maintain throughout his life.  This allowed him to attend Manchester Art College, where he was awarded several prizes, and to join the Royal Academy School in London when he was 17 in 1873. 

While attending the Academy, Haigh-Wood captured a great deal of attention, and by 21 he was exhibiting at the Academy and was elected a member. He subsequently traveled and studied Renaissance masters in Italy for three years, before returning to settle in England. His talent at painting portraits brought in many commissions, but he was best known for painting drawing room "conversation pieces," or story-telling scenes of polite 18th-century society, which made him one of the most popular genre painters in the late 19th century. His paintings were enchanting visions of romance, with attractive girls and pretty dresses, which captivated his patrons, many of whom were among the newly affluent middle-class. These works were routinely purchased by greeting-card manufacturers for reproduction, galleries from as far away as Australia bidding for his pictures. 

In his later years, both artistic success and family wealth allowed Haigh-Wood to turn his attention away from commercial art and toured a more social realist style. He exhibited from 1874 to 1904, at the Royal Academy from 1879 to 1904, having 42 paintings exhibited there during his lifetime, at Suffolk Street, New Watercolour Society and elsewhere. He died in 1927 in Hastings.

Dated 1904

Canvas: 23" high x 30" wide
 Frame: 35" high x 42" wide

Artist's Exhibitions:
Royal Academy of Art
Bury Art Museum, 1910
Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool
Manchester City Art Gallery
Royal Society of British Artists
Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers
Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
Royal Insitute of Oil Painters

The Dictionary of British Artists, 1880-1940, 1988 reprint, Jane Johnson and A. Greutzner 

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