The American artist Ogden Minton Pleissner (1905-1983) described himself as “a landscape painter, a painter of landscapes who also liked to hunt and fish.” Through the skills of his highly trained and disciplined hands and his keen eye for nuance, Pleissner set a standard for seeing and depicting the sporting world that has few equals. He ranks among America’s greatest sporting artists, standing in the elite company of such other masters as Winslow Homer, Frank Benson, A.B. Frost, A.F.Tait, and Aiden Lasalle Ripley, and his varied work amounts to what could be called a “Grand Tour” of sport fishing and bird shooting, across North America and beyond.
Pleissner was a master of the sporting moment, able to capture the most exciting seconds in a sportsman’s life—the instant before a big fish strikes, the anxious thrill of netting or gaffing a big salmon, the hush of the marsh just before birds decoy—and hold them still forever, to be savored again and again. Author and critic Thomas S. Buechner has said, “Pleissner invites us to transcend our focus on action to see the whole scene—quietly and from a little distance… Sharing reflective pleasure in worlds of his choosing… he painted what he saw, what he felt, and what he loved.”
Oil on canvas
23.5 x 17.5