Oh the folks at L. Prang & Co. publishers sure found some wonderful artists to adorn their printed postcards, note cards, tags and other assorted paper goods. This beautiful deer drawing is no exception. I admit that I keep staring at it and exploring the quiet maternal moment between a deer and her small fawn and the lush forest they are surrounded by.
This is the work of the wildlife artist Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819-1905). Fitzwilliam is considered an American artist but he was born near Liverpool, England and did not come to the United States until he was 31 years old in 1850. Pieces featuring barnyard fowl, wild birds, sheep and deer are among the most desirable of his works. In fact, one of his deer paintings sold for $167,300 in 2006.
Along with this chromolithograph for Prang (and perhaps others I’ve yet to find), Currier & Ives reproduced his works as lithographs.
This deer drawing features a very small, spotted fawn being cared for by its mother. The mother faces the viewer, ever alert for danger. The pair are deep in the forest where Tait covers the trees with mosses and ivy vines. The forest canopy is so thick that we can barely see the blue sky. Twigs and small flowers add more red and rust tomes to compliment the brown fur of the mother deer.
Can you tell this is a piece that somehow speaks to me? I hope it speaks to you as well and you can find a wonderful new use for this beautiful maternal deer drawing.
This image is copyright free and in the public domain anywhere that extends copyrights 70 years after death or at least 120 years after publication when the original illustrator is unknown.