Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Amoretti LXVII: Like as a Huntsman

Like as a huntsman after weary chase,
Seeing the game from him escap'd away,
Sits down to rest him in some shady place,
With panting hounds beguiled of their prey:
So after long pursuit and vain assay,
When I all weary had the chase forsook,
The gentle deer returned the self-same way,
Thinking to quench her thirst at the next brook.
There she beholding me with milder loook,
Sought not to fly, but fearless still did bide:
Till I in hand her yet half trembling took,
And with her own goodwill her firmly tied.
Strange thing, me seem'd, to see a beast so wild,
So goodly won, with her own will beguil'd.

Edmund Spenser

This picture is one of a pair - the other is of a spaniel chasing a bird. I bought them in a charity shop a few years ago, having originally seen them in window the a couple of weeks before and assumed they were some kind of lithograph. On closer inspection they turned out to be pencil drawings with the animals picked out in very finely painted watercolour. Unfortunately. they've suffered a bit from the acidity of the low quality card mounts mounts . This one is signed "R.N.A. Reid cop." Whose work it was copied from and for what purpose remains a mystery, though I've wondered if it was in connection with the preparation of a print, or a painting on ceramic. Both have legible watermarks - one WILMOT and the other WHATMAN TURKEY MILLS, which along with the style would fit with a dating to the 1830's or 40's.

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