Wolfhound Dog by Kennel - Original early 19th-century watercolour painting


An original early 19th-century watercolour painting, Wolfhound Dog by Kennel.

This handsome canine portrait affords the humble wolfhound dignity and stature, in spite of its simple surroundings. Painted in beautiful, feathery brushstrokes, with additions of white bodycolour and brown ink, this is likely by the hand of one of the members of the Loraine-Smith family, headed by Charles Loraine-Smith (1751-1835), a keen horseman known for his early hunting and sporting scenes.

On heavy pale green paper.

Some minor foxing and marks as shown. There is a repaired tear to the upper right edge, and minor abrasion marks towards the upper right corner.
23.1cm x 31.7cm.

This work is one of a number of dog pictures we have for sale, representing the importance of animals in Victorian culture. The status, role and significance of animals and the animals kingdom were issues at the forefront of scientific investigation at the time, particularly in the context of Darwin’s theory of evolution. The relationship between animals and humans in particular could be explored successfully in visual art, and these pictures are testament to that – featuring hunting dog scenes, dogs as man’s best friend and dogs afforded almost human qualities.

These work form part of a fascinating larger collection of mainly equestrian pictures which we have for sale, connected with two highly regarded horse painters: Charles Loraine-Smith (1751-1835), a keen horseman known for his early hunting and sporting scenes, and Charles Cooper Henderson (1803-1877), the pre-eminent painter of Victorian horses and coaches. At a time when animal painting was seen as a ‘lower’ form of art, these artists were pioneering in establishing the respectability and status of the genre. The story of why these pictures have come together is a mystery, but it is possible that the collection was at one time owned by Charles Cooper Henderson: our collection includes a watercolour by William James Müller – and, interestingly, Charles’s brother, the distinguished art collector John Henderson, was an avid collector of Müller’s works.

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Product code: JK-327

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