Arthur Oscar Schilling (1882-1958) Portrait of a Man in a Sombrero 1926 Oil on Canvas P780 SOLD

  A very arresting portrait, painted with great verve and style, the character of the sitter vividly conveyed (check out the attitude!.. the way the cigarette is negligently held in his hand), the level of talent and accomplishment of the painter extremely apparent, as is a strong flavor of the bohemian life of the period, the twenties, with its exuberant taste for fancy dress and masquerade. It’s just beautiful.
  The surprise here is that the painter, Arthur Schilling, eventually made a name for himself as, literally, a world famous painter of poultry, celebrated for the meticulous research he put into the work (to the point that his paintings became references for setting the standards of the different breeds). Careers are hard to predict.
  I append some reference material below, as well as including an image of his 3 cent stamp, of a hen of course, commissioned by the Post Office.




Published: January 11, 1987

FRAMED, life-size portraits of chickens hang on the walls of E. Lea Marsh’s home in Old Lyme. About 40 chickens scratch and squawk in their coops in his yard. And sometimes the birds get their feathers fluffed and their toenails trimmed in his laundry room…

…Hanging in a front room of Mr. Marsh’s home are portraits of his own 1944 winners at Madison Square Garden, two handsome, white, standard-size leghorns. They were painted by Arthur O. Schilling, a poultry artist whose detailed illustrations of different breeds appear in The Standard of Perfection, the bible of the American Poultry Association.”

“This October 1943 Turkey World features a discussion of proposing a standard for the Broad Breasted Bronze. The 1943 Broad Breasted Bronze was a naturally mating bird unlike the Broad Breasted White turkeys commercially grown today. Arthur O. Shilling, internationally famous poultry artist, was employed to paint a portrait of the ideal bird of this breed. The job assigned to Artist Shilling was one of the most difficult any painter ever attempted. He was faced by the problem—“What are the characteristics of the ideal Broad Breasted Bronze?” A number of photographs were submitted to add to Schilling’s extensive knowledge of this turkey. Sketches were drawn and submitted to leading breeders and after many changes a sketch was approved. The final painting has drawn favorable comments from all who have inspected it. Breeders especially were pleased that the artist caught the typical Broad Breast shape and at the same time was able to portray that all important characteristic—good balance of body parts. At great cost, Turkey World reproduced this painting on the cover of its October 1943 issue.”