EDMUND HENRY OSTHAUS
1858 – 1928
Title: "Setter Retrieving a Quail”
Size: Height 30 inches Width 36 inches (framed)
Size: Height 22 inches Width 28 ¼ inches (canvas)
Considered to be one the most important American sporting artists spanning the 19th and early 20th centuries, Edmund Osthaus was born in Hildesheim, Germany in 1858 and died at his hunting lodge in Florida in 1928. Osthaus studied at the Royal Academy in Dusseldorf with Andreas Muller (1831-1901), Eduard von Gebhardt (1838-1925), Ernst Deger (1809-1885) and Christian Kroner (1838-1911). His parents immigrated to the United States first and Osthaus followed them in 1883 with his sister. He became chief instructor at the Toledo Academy of Fine Arts, Ohio, and served as its director from 1886 to 1893. In 1892 he married Charlotte Becker with whom he had several children. Edmund left the Academy in 1893 to spend more time working with his field dogs, primarily setters and pointers, shooting and to pursue his painting. By 1911 Osthaus opened a second studio in Los Angeles and exhibited at the San Diego Fine Arts Gallery up to 1927. He also had a home in Summit, New Jersey.
Prized for his lifelike portraits of hunting dogs, Osthaus was a prolific artist and executed an equal amount of work in both watercolor and oil. His vivid paintings of champion show dogs and hunting and fishing parties were avidly collected by sporting enthusiasts. An avid upland game and waterfowl shot and gun dog enthusiast, Osthaus specialized in portraits of setters and pointers. An Ohio newspaper once said of his works, “The Osthaus dogs are not ‘studio’ dogs. They live on the canvas as they live in the field, transferred by some magic of brain and hand from trail to canvas.” Osthaus painted many champion field trial and gun dogs from the 1880’s to the 1920’s and was a founder of the National Field Trial Association in Newton, NC, in 1895.
Osthaus was a member of the Tile Club in Toledo. He exhibited there regularly, showing such works as his Partridge Shooting and Retriever, both in 1903. At the Art Institute of Chicago, he showed Still Evening in 1903 and, in 1911, Early Rambles and Setters. The Port Huron, MI, Museum of Arts and History has his Major, and In the Field. The Toledo Museum of Art has another portrait of Major, among other works. The Butler Institute of American Art in Youngstown, OH, has his Family Portrait and his Setters in a Field is at the Morris Museum of Arts and Sciences in Bernardsville, NJ. Other institutions holding his work include the Pebble Hill Plantation Museum in Thomasville, GA; the National Sporting Library in Middleburg, VA; the Albany, GA, Museum of Art; and the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog in St. Louis, MO.
This superb and important example of his work is presented in pristine condition and is signed and dated by the artist.