Gordon and English Setters in the field signed and dated 'Rosseau / 1910' (lower right) oil on canvas laid to fiber board 21 1/4 x 29 1/4in. (54 x 74.2cm.)
PROVENANCE Findlay Galleries, Inc., Chicago Private Collection, Ottawa, Canada
By all accounts, Percival Leonard Rosseau led anything but a conventional life. Essentially orphaned by circumstances surrounding the Civil War, where he lost his father, mother and two brothers, he and a younger sister were subsequently raised by friends in Kentucky.
As a young man he tried several different trades including that of cowboy on cattle drives along the Chisholm Trail. He eventually owned a successful import business in New Orleans, which allowed him to retire at the age of 35. It was at that unlikely age he turned his interest toward art and went to Paris to enroll in the Academie Julian. Even his getting to Paris was unconventional. Rather than taking the Atlantic crossing, he went west via Japan and the Far East, stopping in Hawaii where he met his future wife.
In Paris Rosseau received critical acclaim for his paintings with dogs by the Salon of 1903 and he began a career as a painter of sporting and animal scenes. He returned to the United States in 1915 and settled in the artists' colony of Old Lyme, CT. While in the U.S. he enjoyed the patronage of wealthy Southern clients as well as that of Percy Rockefeller who built a studio for the artist and supplied him sporting dogs as models on his estate Overhills near Fayetteville, NC.