A vibrant and detailed oil painting by William Duffield, the scene captures a duck and smaller fowl on the hunter's table before a bowl overflowing with grapes and apples and glazed pottery vessels. A woven throw is scattered across the table with plums, pears and other scattered fruit disappearing into the darkness of the corner. Typical of his work, the painting highlights Duffield's skill at the still-life, a subject matter he devoted the majority of his life too. The painting is housed in a hand-carved early 20th century frame and the work is signed along the dark edge of the table in the lower left corner "W. Duffield".
Born in Bath, England in 1816, William Laud Duffield was initially a self-taught painter. He moved to London where he studied under George Lance before studying at the Royal Academy in London and later moved to Antwerp for two years where he studied under Baron Wappers. While his training was in portrait work, a field he occasionally included with figural paintings and portraits of his wife and son, his first work for the Royal Academy was a still-life of fruit. This would be a style he eventually specialized in, exhibiting still-life paintings of vegetables, meat, fruit and dead game at the Royal Academy, the British Institution and more than 38 works at the Society of British Artists. In 1850 he married Mary Elizabeth Rosenberg, a painter and watercolorist well-known for her flower paintings as well as paintings of fish. At the height of his career, he died suddenly at the age of 47.
Literature & Further Reading:
-E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. IV, Gründ, 2006, p. 1274-75
-Dictionary of British Art, Vol. IV, Victorian Painters: The Text, Christopher Wood, 1995
Measurements: 29 1/2" H x 41 3/8" W x 2" D [frame]; 23 3/4" H x 35 3/4" W [canvas]
Condition Report: Professionally conserved and relined in the last half century. Under UV showing repaired tear to upper left edge/corner, repaired triangular tear upper right corner, touch ups to edges and lower right corner, touch ups to fruit. 20th century frame with some wear and paint loss, abrasion to upper left corner.