An English setter stands in a sloping open field on a summer day. Liedl was well known for his portraits of hunting dogs, and the profile pose of the setter, emphasizing its silhouette and fine coat, suggests that this may have been a portrait of a groomed show dog. Setters are among the oldest breed of gun dogs; for hunting they are trained to strike various stances to indicate the presence and location of game birds. This one exhibits the typical long, silky white coat of the breed, flecked with a tan color called “orange belton.”
Charles Liedl was a renowned and prolific illustrator of hunting, fishing, and wildlife scenes. He was born in Hungary at the turn of the 20th century and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts. He published illustrations in hunting magazines, and became a soldier during World War I. Captured by the Russians, he was shipped to Siberia, transferred to American and then Japanese custody. After escaping around 1919, he found work in Japan painting pictures of orchids for a rich patron. He immigrated to the United States in the early 1920s, and began his career as an illustrator. In the 1930s and 1940s, he exhibited his works at various galleries and museums, including The American Museum of Natural History, Education Hall and the Heads & Horns Museum Gallery, New York Zoological Park. In 1948, Steuben Glass produced a series of glass game bird figurines after Liedl’s designs. An avid outdoorsman as well as an artist, he wrote and illustrated two instruction books on animal art: How to Draw Animals (Greenberg, 1953) and Hunting with Rifle and Pencil (Fredericton, New Brunswick: Brunswick Press, 1955). He also did the illustrations for a children’s animal book, Noel and Jimmy-Why by George Frederick Clark (Brunswick Press, 1959). Liedl oversaw the painting of the landscape backgrounds for the wildlife dioramas at the Seattle Museum of History and Industry in 1963.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, wear, cracquelure.
Warren, Jill. “English Setters — Frequently Asked Questions.” English Setter Association of America. 7 May 2006. http://www.esaa.com/breedfaq.html (10 May 2006).