lower right: JW Audubon; on reverse of lining [fabric], in another hand: B.P. Audubon
The artist [1812-1862]; probably by inheritance to his second wife, Caroline Hall Audubon [1811-1899], Salem, New York; by inheritance to their son, William Bakewell Audubon [1847-1932], Australia; by inheritance to his son, Leonard Benjamin Audubon [1888-1951], Sydney, Australia; sold 1950 to E.J.L. Hallstrom [1886-1970], Sydney, Australia; gift 1951 to NGA.
- Audubon Paintings and Prints from the Collection of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C., 1951.
- Extended loan for use by Ambassador Thomas Michael Tulliver Niles, U.S. Embassy residence, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, 1985-1989.
- Extended loan for use by John C. Kornblum, U.S. Representative to the Conference and Security Commission of Europe, Vienna, Austria, 1992-1994.
- Extended loan for use by Samuel Brown, U.S. Representative to the Conference and Security Commission of Europe, Vienna, Austria, 1994-1998.
- Ford, Alice, ed. Audubon's Animals. New York, 1951: 214.
- American Paintings and Sculpture: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1970: 12, repro.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1980: 22, repro.
- American Paintings: An Illustrated Catalogue. National Gallery of Art, Washington, 1992: 22, repro.
- Kelly, Franklin, with Nicolai Cikovsky, Jr., Deborah Chotner, and John Davis. American Paintings of the Nineteenth Century, Part I. The Collections of the National Gallery of Art Systematic Catalogue. Washington, D.C., 1996: 21, color repro. 22.
The support is a plain-weave fabric that has been lined. On the reverse of the lining canvas, a colormen's stencil reads: "PREPARED/BY/ED WD DECHAUX/NEW YORK" and "22 X 27." There is a warm, off-white ground layer of moderate thickness under the thinly and transparently applied paint. The ground layer shows through the foreground, creating a luminosity in some of the browns. Fine brushstrokes of thinly applied paint are used to suggest the texture of the fox's fur. The sky is more thickly painted, wet-into-wet. White highlights in impasted paint outline most of the design areas. The condition of the painting is reasonably good, with the exception of the edges. There is a tear in the back of the fox and a dime-size loss in the center of the sky. Blistering and crizzled paint and long, irregular losses along the bottom edge are the result of water damage. The varnish is unevenly glossy and has become highly discolored.