This picture is related to a superior version : Baiting the Fox by Marmaduke Cradock, National Trust, Middlethorpe Hall, North Yorkshire. Not on show. NT 1548245.
Craddock is known to have painted more that one version of a number of pictures and only signed the superior artwork.
This picture not simply a detached, ornamental view. The tethered fox creates drama which is a device used by Cradock and his followers, not usually encountered in ornamental bird pieces. The birds on the ground are giving alarm calls, and the duck has been sent into a flurried flight to avert danger.
Characteristically the individual birds are painted with great accuracy, making them easily identifiable.
This post was written by joecollinson