American (1859-1937)
Awaiting Orders
oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right "Rosseau 1920"
24 x 32 inches

Provenance: The artist; Private Collection, Oklahoma; By descent to the current owner, Private Collection, Colorado.

Other Notes:
Born on the eve of the Civil War in Louisiana, 1859, Rosseau lost much of his family during the war years, including his parents and two brothers. Rosseau's life went from the initially privileged plantation environment of a well-off family to being raised through the good will of family friends in Kentucky.

As a young man, he was compelled to find his own way in the world and explored various pursuits to earn money for himself and his remaining sister, specifically to fund a dowry for her. He spent time as a cowboy on the Chisolm Trail from Mexico to Kansas, as a cattle-driver, and eventually as a commodities broker. After a failed attempt at a lumber business, he eventually achieved success with an import business, which resulted in enough income for him to finally devote himself to painting. At the age of 35, he left the business to his partner and travelled to Paris to study at the Académie Julian.

In these early years in Paris, Rosseau also trained in the ateliers of Jules Lefevre, Tony Robert-Fleury and Charles Herman-Leon. He first began to show his work in the Paris Salon in 1900 and found that his most consistent praise was for his depictions of dogs. This suited him immensely as he found himself generally impatient with sitters for his figurative works. This realization first came in 1903 when his image of the goddess Diana with two Irish wolfhounds was widely acclaimed, particularly for the wolfhounds. In 1904, he submitted a work with just two dogs in it and it sold within a day. This was the turning point, and his subsequent focus became sporting dogs on the hunt. English and American pointers are most often seen in his paintings.

Rosseau's work became widely popular in the U.S. where there was a well-defined market ready and waiting for him – wealthy gentlemen sportsmen in the years following America's Gilded Age. Nevertheless, he remained in France until 1915, making frequent trips back to the United States to fulfill commissions and participate in exhibitions. At the onset of World War I, he finally moved back to the States where he settled in Lyme, Connecticut. During this time, one of his most prominent patrons was Percy Rockefeller. In the early 1920s the Rockefeller family was building a residence at Overhills, an exclusive hunting club in North Carolina. In 1927, receipts for contractor payments at Overhills detail payments made to construct a cottage for Rosseau on the property. Rockefeller encouraged Rosseau to use his dogs as models.

In the present composition, the two pointers and setter at rest look up as if awaiting orders from their owner. Rosseau beautifully captures the individual characteristics of each dog and gives the viewer a sense of their individual natures.

Rosseau was a member of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, the Lotos Club in New York City, and the Lyme Art Association. He exhibited at the Paris Salon, the Lyme Art Association, and prominent galleries in New York City and elsewhere. His works are included in numerous notable private and public collections including The Orlando Museum of Art, The Columbus Museum of Art, and the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. Rosseau died in Fayetteville, North Carolina on November 29, 1937.

tags: Sporting, hunting, dogs, 20th century, oil painting

  • Condition: Canvas: Unlined
    Condition: Very Good
    Restoration: Very Minor
    Frame: Old
    Small repair upper left, painting was recently cleaned by Yost Restoration, has craquelure throughout and should be lined

    Framed dimensions - 30 3/4 x 38 3/4 x 2 1/4 inches

    In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Shannon's is merely a subjective qualified opinion. Frames on all paintings are sold "As Is". Frames may need some conservation.


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