I am in no rush to sell this painting, but as it is no longer hung, I feel that it is a shame it is not better appreciated. The subject matter is not an eagle attempting to take a full grown red stag, but it is showing the occasional tactic of some wild eagles who attack herds of deer to panic and confuse them, either with the attention of driving some of the herd over a cliff. Or to separate a calf from a hind and the rest of the herd.
Seton Gordon, in his fine book "The Golden Eagle - King of Birds" recalls many anecdotes of such events, and I refer to one as follows;
Major Ellice of Invergarry wrote;
“One day while spying I saw a large herd of stags and hinds driven straight past us at the gallop by an eagle. The eagle was trying to detach a deer calf - quite a large one - from the herd. I had a couple of shots at the deer as they galloped past at about 200 yards, but missed them. The eagle never left his quarry, and when he was about a mile from us he succeeded in driving the calf away from the herd. He continued to swoop down upon it, and gradually drove it into a deep burn, where I suppose he finished it off.”