Born in Albany, New York, Richard La Barre Goodwin began his career as a portrait painter, but quickly devoted himself to still life painting. In 1886, influenced by William Michael Harnett's After the Hunt, Goodwin began a series of trompe l'oeil paintings distinctive for their cabin door theme, decorated with hunting and outdoor equipment.
Goodwin's hanging still lifes would have been the ultimate in recognizable and fashionable work of art in the late nineteenth century: "Hanging still lifes first became popular in the 1850s through prints by Currier and Ives after game pieces by Arthur Fitzwilliam Tait. In the mid-1870s, L. Prang and Company published a series of 'Dining-Room pictures' that included game pieces of waterfowl hanging in front of a neutral background. These chromolithographs, reproduced from paintings by George N. Cass and G. Bossett, were destined to decorate many a Victorian dining room and parlor." (E.J. Connell, "After the Hunt," in William Michael Harnett, Fort Worth, Texas, 1992, p. 277)
Richard La Barre Goodwin holds an admirable spot within the context of late nineteenth century still life painting, due in equal parts to his virtuoso technique and to his subtle wit. In few instances are these two attributes so wonderfully displayed than in After the Hunt.