Details

Title

The Sick Horse

Artist/Maker

William Davis (American, 1829–1920)

Date

ca. 1869

Medium

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

10 1/8 x 10 1/8 inches

Credit

Gift of the West Foundation in honor of Gudmund Vigtel

Accession #

2010.119

On View

On View - Stent Family Wing, Level 3, Gallery 307

With encouragement from his friend, the successful genre painter William Sidney Mount, seascape artist William Davis shifted his focus to narrative painting—presumably to take part in the rising interest among wealthy urban patrons for humble scenes of rural life. Here, Davis portrays a sick horse with farmers consulting on the fix. The consequence of the horse’s ailment—an unfortunate halt in production—is indicated by an idle plow. An equally idle field hand, shown in the shadows with his hands in his pocket, appears unable to continue his work.