Edmund Osthaus • American: 1858-1928
Two Setters and a Pointer • Oil on Canvas 26” x 36”
Mexican peasants gathered at the Veracruz docks as a brightly dressed European Archduke walked down the gangplank of a majestic sailing ship flying the flag of France. Archduke Maximilian had come at the direction of the Emperor Napolean III to rule over Mexico. Behind him was a well-appointed group of wealthy Europeans bent on living a life of noblesse oblige on the parched dirt of Mexico. Within 3 years Archduke Maximilian had been executed, his wife driven mad, and his courtly followers sent scurrying across the Rio Grande. The Osthaus family had arrived in America.
Edmund Osthaus was a grizzly, muscle-bound man who resembled Paul Bunyan, but he was a patrician artist who would not have been caught dead in a north woods lumber camp. Instead he spent his life both painting and partaking in aristocratic pursuits. His chosen companions were well-bred spaniels and retrievers rather than blue oxen. And rather than slashing his way through stands of timber he spent his days painting these dogs in a delicate but (ahem) manly style.
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