“Loch Lomond landscape with Scottish Blackface Ram” by William Baptiste Baird
Oil on canvas signed W. B. Baird lower right and located 3 rue d’Odessa Paris, measurements, 21 ½ x 31 ¾ inches
William Baptiste Baird was born in Chicago, Illinois, moving to Paris in the 1870’s where he spent most of his working life. He exhibited both in Paris, at the Salon des Beaux Arts and at the Royal Academy in London from 1877 to 1899. In 1877 he gave his address as 47, Bloomsbury Square, London; in 1879 as 20 Cheyne Row, London and from 1883 as 3, Rue Odessa, Paris. He painted domestic genre scenes and landscapes; his scenes of poultry in farmyards were much sought after.
He moved to Paris to study painting where he exhibited extensively at the Paris Salon between 1872 and 1879. He also painted in various locales throughout France and Switzerland. Painting in the rural environs outside of Paris (at Barbizon), as well as in Brittany and around Lake Geneva. Baird specialized in the depiction of farmyard animals. Hens, chicks, cows, and rabbits were favored motifs. In America, Baird exhibited at the National Academy of Design from 1875 through 1879, as well as the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts (1878, 1882, and 1883)
Though austensibly an animal subject, Rooster, Hen, and Chicks serves as a visual metaphor of the nuclear Victorian family. Well fed and cared for, the birds congregate before an open threshold, symbolic of the nurturing environment of hearth and home. Within this sphere, the mother contentedly protects and nurtures her young, serving as a role model of sorts for her human counterpart. The dominant rooster, somewhat distant from his offspring, looks on with paternal authority.
FRAMED: HEIGHT: 25¼ in | WIDTH: 35¾ in
UNFRAMED: HEIGHT: 21½ in | WIDTH: 31¾ in
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