America’s most successful painter of narrative scenes, Mount chose as his subjects various aspects of rural life in the flat Long Island landscape around Stony Brook, New York, where he lived. He managed to transcend the manifest content of his pictures to address the social and political realities of the time. "The Raffle (Raffling for the Goose)," showing an impromptu lottery, was Mount’s good-humored allusion to the food shortages brought on by the financial panic of 1837.
Signature: [at lower center]: WM. S. MOUNT / 1837
Henry Brevoort, New York, 1837–ca. 1852; with Williams and Stevens, New York, 1852; Marshall O. Roberts, New York, 1853–1880; his estate; sale, Ortgies and Co., Fifth Avenue Art Galleries, New York, 19 - 21 Jan. 1897, no. 124; John D. Crimmins, New York, 1897