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Two Gentlemen Shooting

George Stubbs British

Not on view

Under the warm midday sun, the men and dogs have hit their stride. The pointers have flushed a bird, a shot rings out, and a partridge plummets to earth, feet in the air. The sport of bird hunting in eighteenth-century England changed from trapping birds with grain and nets to shooting them with a muzzle-loading gun while they were on the wing. Thus, in Stubbs’s day, “shooting flying” would have challenged fowlers, who needed a steady aim and an awareness of nature to bring in their modest catch.

Two Gentlemen Shooting, George Stubbs (British, Liverpool 1724–1806 London), Oil on canvas

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