The Berger Collection

George Wright (1860-1942)
The Cast
Oil on canvas
10 x 29 3/4 in. (25.4 x 75.5 cm)

George Wright was an enthusiastic fox hunter and knew what it was like to be part of "the thrill of the chase." This experience enabled him to bring his works to life, making the viewer feel as though he were present in the scenes. In this painting, Wright has depicted a relatively static stage of the hunt: the huntsmen have cast the hounds to look for a scent. Even so, the picture is full of noise, movement, and atmosphere; one can almost feel the excitement as the hounds prepare to begin their pursuit.

Wright painted this picture in a technique called grisaille, in which the artist uses only shades of gray. The technique was popular among Italian Renaissance and Neoclassical artists for its ability to simulate the tonal shading of marble sculpture. In the Victorian era the technique was once again popular for its similarity to black and white photographs.


Private collection, U.S.; Christie's, New York, December 6, 1996, lot 149

See Artist Profile