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A. B. Frost (1851-1928)

 “The Shooting Pictures”
Chromolithographs
New York: Charles Scribner, 1895
 
These subtle and atmospheric hunting prints are exceptionally fine works by the greatest American sporting artist.  Over the course of his remarkable career, the illustrator A. B. Frost embraced so many different genres that it is nearly impossible to relegate him to just one area, or even to characterize him as a master of one subject over another.  During his long and celebrated career, Frost became a master of all genres that he chose to undertake, with subjects ranging from sporting scenes and still-lifes to portraits and cartoons.  All of his works, from his landscape paintings to his illustrations for “Uncle Remus” and “Alice in Wonderland,” bear his lively and elegant touch.  But Frost will forever be known best for his great hunting pictures.
“The Shooting Pictures” is considered Frost's definitive work, and his most celebrated endeavor in the realm of sporting art.   The work depict moments from the most popular hunting activities of the time, mainly upland-game and shorebird hunting.  Most scenes portray hunters poised for action, frozen at a crucial moment just as their prey fly into range.  The plates have a soft, muted palette, which diffuses the sense of intense concentration displayed by the hunters.  Each of Frost's images conveys a compelling sense of the thrill and tension of the hunt -- the period of silent waiting about to be broken in a dramatic flourish of gunfire.  Frost's Shooting Pictures are classic American images, compelling testaments to the dedication and excitement of sporting life, and to the talents of the artist who created them.