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American Hunting Scenes: “An Early Start”
Canoe all ready headed down river with two hunters and a dog; second canoe preparing to leave shoreline with two more hunters and another dog. From the Inventory Listing of Sidney A. Alpert "American Hunting Scenes / "An Early Start" / (18.15 x 27.11) 1863 (New Best 50) - L"
After Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait
Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait painted this scene in 1863 and Currier & Ives immediately purchased the canvas from the artist for $200. It was then copied onto a lithograph stone to produce prints for the mass market. The central figure with the rifle is a self-portrait of Tait. Next to him is Captain Calvin Parker, a long-time guide for the artist when he explored the Adirondacks. In the canoe in the background are James B. Blossom, a good friend of Tait's, and another guide.
By 1850, a philosophy that advocated close communion with nature as a way to "heal from the discord of the urban environment" had emerged in the United States. Currier & Ives produced more than 100 prints that celebrated and encouraged the enjoyment of the outdoors.
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