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According to Rungius biographer, William J. Schaldach, “His [Rungius’] first success in America resulted, as we have seen, from a painting of a moose which he had made before he had seen a wild one. Before the last century passed—in 1898—he had bagged his first moose, in Wyoming. The animal had always fascinated him and much of his early work dealt with it. Public acclaim was almost immediate, and since it was a subject in which he had great interest and there was a good demand for moose pictures, it would have been desperately easy to slip into a comfortable rut and ignore other subject matter. It would have been a grave error, and Rungius recognized it. The result, as we know, has been a long list of fine paintings and prints of every important species of North American big game, plus a number of canvases of range life in Wyoming, and landscapes.

“While he has widely broadened his field sufficiently to prevent his being placed in a ‘pigeon-hole,’ there is no doubt but that the artist’s interest in moose has been great. Few men have followed this huge animal over so wide a range of territory, or kept at it for so many years. It is natural to suppose, then, that Rungius would paint moose superbly. For, even in Europe, the moose had been a symbol of the spirit of the wilderness.”

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