Edgar Hunt was born in Birmingham to a modest farm-owning family. His father was a part-time teacher and encourdged Hunt’s artistic passion. As a child, Hunt endlessly sketched farm life, a pass-time which would define his career. Hunt received no formal training, and wished to be a farmer, working for a time on a farm in Lewes, Sussex for a short period.
In his mid-20s Hunt decided to devote himself entirely to the realist depiction of farmyard scenes. He worked on small, tight-knit compositions usually comprising domestic poultry and broods. Hunt’s work is recognisible for its meticulous attention to detail, with not a feather or hair out of place and his great use of vivid colour and skill in creating texture. Hunt also managed to add a sentimentality to his work, to elicit an emotional response from the viewer for the sheer joy of the simple life of the animals he painted.
Hunt saw great success among the growing middle-upper class in the cities of the Midlands. The Industiral Revolution had brought wealth to the cities, but with it came a new, bustling, dirty city. Those who had made their money in his period yearned for the beautiful, nostalgic images of the countryside Hunt produced. Despite this success, Hunt was not a public man, and only exhibited twice in his lifetime, once at the Royal Society of Arts in Birmingham and then at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool.