Open main menu

Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 89.djvu/906

This page needs to be proofread.


Painting Wild Animals' Eyes

It is the natural expression, not the hypnotic stare that is sought

]iy A. II. Ewing

���The process of painting from life the eyes of the animals involves many liours of patient waiting in the effort to catch and hold the gaze of the restless, indifferent or resentful imprisoned beasts

��N(J\V that taxidermy has become an elaborate art, the sportsman and the museums alike demand an absolutely lilV-likc aspcrt in a "mounted" specimen. Mr. Wilson Potter of I'liiladelphia, hunter of big game and taxidermist, has an entire buildiny; in the city fitted up with every appliance for perfecting the art of modelling and mounting his trophies of the hunt. An expert sculptor and an equally expert taxidermist are at work in the shops, and the truly inar\elous result of their work is shown in the museum, at the inroad Street front of the imilding. l)es])ite the high grade of the work, however, Mr. I'otti-r decided, a few seasons ago, that e\en the best workmanship left nuich to be desired in the finished effect, so long as the eyes sup- plied by manufacturers were use<l. The c.imera did not aid him, and so Mr. Potter looked about for an artist who could repro- duce the \a>t dilTerences in the eyes ol the various spi'cies of animals, and the .sli.ipc, color, si/e and expression of each, .is well as catch an expression to suit any poM- which niiglil be tlioscu for a "mounting."

��David Finkelgreen, a Phihulelphia artist, undertook to give Mr. Potter exactly what he wanted. When not engaged in his winter presidency and directorshij) of the (".raiihic .\rl tlub, Mr. I'inkelgreen went far to make a careful stud\- of wild animals' eyes, often uiuler dit'ticult and dangerous circumstances; he also dissected eyes of animals which had been shot in the chase. His work in the Zoological (Jardens, paint- ing eyes of the animals in cages, aided him much in perfecting the art of reproducing the i>e w ilh his bru>h. The process called for m,in\- hours of p.itient w.iiting and eflort to c.itcli ami hold the g.»/e of a restless, inditferent, or resentful lie.ist long enough to bring it to the h\|motic stage wiien the jiainting could be done. Holding a box of paints in his left hand, the artist paints in the cup-like inside of a crystal mold, always allowing for the dilTerence in elTect made liter b\- the ujiper co\fring of crystal when the eye reaches comi>letion.

The artist contimud his elTorts until he became the foremost p.iinter of animals* eyes in the w>>rltl. It is easy to realize this

��mi

�� �