“Better than Bacon”

This painting, in which Carl Rungius does his own version of a Charley Russell theme, is in the National Museum of Wildlife Art in Jackson Hole. Most of Rungius’s late great oils  have a distinctive theme or style, which I characterized rudely to two of my friends, art historian Jim Moore and museum curator Toby Jurjevics, as “a cubist mountain with a big white mammal on it, or a big dark cubist mammal, a bear or a moose.” True and I think funny (they did laugh), but leaves out the fact that he was one of the greatest “animaliers” ever, and maybe my favorite big game painter.

A show is coming next year of American hunting and fishing paintings, from the Revolution to WW II. I will do the intro, one reason we were all sitting in my yard last week talking about painters. I want to add this Rungius because it is atypical, as well as very nice.

By the way, I have a letter by Rungius that fell out of an old Knopf Borzoi book on Alaskan hunting by Russell Annabel that I found in a bookstore.

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