Attrib. William Haines, Gentleman with Dog - Early 19th-century watercolour

An original early 19th-century watercolour painting, Attrib. William Haines Gentleman with Dog.

This is a very lively study in watercolour, with graphite, evidently by a highly skilled hand. The characterful image shows a gentleman in a closely fitting overcoat, typical of the early nineteenth century, with a furled umbrella, top hat and rather portly dog with a collar.

Initialled lower right 'W.H.', and inscribed verso 'Haines'. William Haines (1778–1848) was an English engraver and painter. After studying at Midhurst grammar school, Haines was with Robert Thew, the engraver, at Northaw in Hertfordshire, working with Scriven and others on the Boydell-Shakespeare plates. In 1800 Haines made numerous drawings on a voyage to the Cape of Good Hope, going on to Philadelphia, where he engraved a number of book illustrations and some portraits. On returning to England in 1805 he worked in London, producing portrait miniatures, and also working on a larger scale in oils. 

Initialled lower right. Inscribed verso: '[?] Haines.'
On watercolour paper. Some minor age toning and marks as shown. Minor historic glue staining to the corners verso.
29.9cm x 20.2cm.

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: JJ-821

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