or centuries, dogs have
been included in portraits,
as well as religious and
mythological scenes. However, they did not truly come into their own
until the 19th century. Dog paintings of
every sort continued in popularity until the
early 20th century when the public’s general appreciation for academic art waned.
Today, besides the obvious fur appeal,
collectors have once again begun seeking
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Edwin Landseer, John Emms, Maud Earl,
George Earl and George Horlor.
In mid- to late-19th century England,
several forces came together to
create the flowering of dog painting:
the patronage of Queen Victoria, the
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and the establishment of The Kennel Club
and organized dog shows. A great animal
lover, Queen Victoria routinely homed
over 70 dogs at her Windsor Castle
kennels. Her favorite animal painter was
Edwin Landseer and her patronage of
him, as well as other artists, created a
precedent for having one’s companion
painted either at home or in the sporting CO
Portraits by Royal Behest
Artists capture the regal spirit of purebreds
depicted in 19th century paintings.
BY WILLIAM SECORD
The American Dog at Home is a lavishly illustrated volume that visits
over 30 of Christine Merrill’s clients around the country, each of
whom selected her to paint a portrait of their favorite pet.
John Emms (English, 1843–1912)
Foxhounds and Terrier in a Kennel
OIL ON CANVAS, 14 × 20 INCHES
PRIVATE COLLECTION, CA
George Horlor (English, fl. 1849–1891)
The Comfort of Home, OIL ON CANVAS, 22 × 27¼ INCHES
COURTESY WILLIAM SECORD GALLERY, INC.