Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait (1819–1905)
Oil on artistboard, 10 x 14 in.
Signed and dated lower right: A. F. Tait / 1865
Inscribed on verso: 402 / AF Tait / 1865
Provenance: Mr. Jason Feyer, Baltimore, 1865; private collection, Chattanooga, Tennessee, until 2006
Literature: Warder H. Cadbury and Henry F. Marsh, Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait: Artist in the Adirondacks (Newark: University of Delaware Press, 1986), 183, no. 65.22.
In Tait’s Chickens, the focus of the painting is on six inquisitive chicks. Two of the chicks struggle over a fly clamped in their beaks, while three others investigate a ladybug, and the last one reaches for a fly perched on a strand of grass. Tait’s attention to detail and delicate brushwork testify to his careful study of the animals and their habitat.