Two hunting dogs in center facing left to watch bird flying up out of cover of bushes. Another bird hidden from view of dogs in lower left corner. Woods and mountains behind.
Partridge hunting has always been an integral part of American life, whether for sport or necessity. Specially bred field dogs have been used for centuries to flush the partridge or “grouse” out of long grasses, brush and forest. The image of the American hunter was popular among many artists particularly Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait who became a preeminent sporting artist during the 19th century. Although this print is not attributed to Tait many Currier & Ives images were inspired by the work of Tait and other artists. Partridge Shooting captures the moment a bird takes flight, attempting to escape the two pointers let loose by an unseen hunter. The dogs are poised to follow, their eyes transfixed. Behind a rock, out of sight, the other partridge hides about to take flight into an unwitting trap. In the background a large coniferous forest sprawls towards rolling mountains creating an idealized depiction of sport taking place within pristine wilderness typically found within Currier & Ives images.