The subject of this oil painting is a French boar hunt amid a wooded area filled with moss covered boulders and a small pond. Signed in the lower right corner of the canvas (“E. Petit”), the action-packed scene is surrounded by a giltwood frame adorned with foliate and floral motifs and cavetto molding. Based on the sparse canopy of orange tinted leaves throughout the surrounding forest, the hunt is occurring on a fall day. The reeds on the shore of the pond still have traces of green but have begun to turn yellow and brown.
Within the tall grass is a struggling boar being swarmed by a pack of mostly tan and black foxhounds. The “huntsman” of the party (the member responsible for controlling the hounds with horn signals) has just arrived on his all white horse. Dressed in a red overcoat and a black and gold cap, the horn is slung over his shoulders. In the midground, a woman wearing a blue dress and black hat rides her brown horse next to the “whipper-in”. The whipper-in is the assistant to the huntsman and clad in similar attire, also on an all-white horse. In the background is the rest of the hunting party, navigating the winding forest path on their horses.
Born in Paris in 1839, Eugene Petit was a member of the French School, 19th century, and a student of Edouard Muller. Known for frequently painting hunting and genre scenes, Petit also gained recognition for his nature morte (still life) paintings. Petit made his debut at the Paris Salon in 1863 and continued to exhibit up until his death in 1886.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with light craquelure to canvas. Likely revarnished. Minor separations to frame with light buildup and rubs. The frame is not rigged for hanging.