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William T. Ranney
Middletown, Connecticut, 1823-
West Hoboken, New Jersey, 1857.
Wild Duck Shouting on the Wing, ca. 1850.
Oil on canvas.

Here, Ranney captures a moment of heightened anticipation during a duck hunt. The entire group forms a triangle that is both stable and filled with a tension ready to be released. The hunter, boy, and dog wait expectantly for the next gunshot. Below the hunterís leg, a red wound in the duckís breast foretells that another duck will soon fall.

Six days after the fall of the Alamo in March, 1836, the Connecticut-born Ranney enlisted to fight in the Texas War of Independence. His sejourn youth fostered a love of outdoor scenes, which then was a growing market during this period of unbridled self-determinism in United States history.