A History of Dogs in Art

The history of dogs in art, as read (and copied from) in this week’s Country Life and I have added the images.

Early 17th Century:

Dogs start to appear in sporting scenes as well as human portraits. They often served as badges of political affiliation….

PUG = supporters of William of Orange

KING CHARLES SPANIEL = for a stuart affiliate

ITALIAN GREYHOUND = perhaps Jacobite sympathies (James 2nd’s queen, Mary of Modena, was Italian)

Reynolds, George Selwyn 1766  King-charles-spaniel  NPG 214; Mary of Modena by William Wissing

1766 Stubbs unveils his influential Spanish Pointer depicting a dog belonging to publisher Thomas Bradford. It inspired porcelain models and dog whistles, as well as prints.


1803-04 Philip Reinagle produces a series of 24 paintings of dogs, which are turned  into engravings for The Sportsman’s Cabinet magazine



Landseer’s A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society goes on show. Black and white New Foundlands become known as Landseers

A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society exhibited 1838 by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer 1802-1873


Landseer completes his portrait of Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge with Nelson, her Newfoundland. It is later presented to George V in 1893 to mark his marriage


1900 Maud Earl issues prints of her patriotic portrait of Dimboola, the champion bulldog of 1896, set against a backdrop of a Union Flag and the white cliffs of Dover


1930 Cecil Aldin releases his book An Artist’s Models, an affectionate look at the dogs who sat for him, illustrated by tinted coloured plates

Cecil Aldin An Artist's models Dog Book

1931 Bolton born watercolourist Reuben Ward Binks is commissioned by American heiress Geraldine Rockefeller Dodge (who had a specially built Cadillac designed to carry 12 dogs) to come to the USA and paint more than 200 canine portraits


I absolutely love this painting!


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