Exhibition: Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney
Next spring, the Wallace Collection will open Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney. The exhibition explores our devotion to four-legged friends across the centuries. Through carefully selected paintings, sculptures, drawings, works of art and even taxidermy, the exhibition highlights the unique bond between humans and their canine companions.
Dog portraiture developed as an artistic genre contemporaneously with its human counterpart – dogs are represented in the earliest cave paintings alongside humans – and it flourished, particularly in Britain, from the 17th century onwards. More than any other nationality perhaps, the British have both commissioned and collected portraits of dogs.
Bringing over 50 works of art to Hertford House, Portraits of Dogs presents a broad range of portraiture showing dogs in all their different shapes and sizes, with each painter or sculptor challenging themselves how best to represent mankind’s most faithful and fearless friend.
Can’t wait for the exhibition? Buy your catalogue here and enjoy the exhibition early.
Booking will open in 2023.
Throughout history, dogs and humans have had a special relationship based on trust, lotalty and friendship, a relationship frequently immortalised in art. Faithful and Fearless: Portraits of Dogs celebrates this long-standing emotional bond.
The book presents a selection of dog paintings, drawings, sculpture and taxidermy from British institutions including the V&A, Tate Britain, the British Museum and the Wallace Collection as well as from prominent private collections. It features over fifty well-known works including Rosa Bonheur's Brizo, George Stubb's Turk, Thomas Gainsborough's portraits of his dogs Tristram and Fox, Lucian Freud's pet whippet, Pluto and David Hockney's beloved dachshunds Stanley and Boodgie.
The desire to have one's dog portrayed in all shapes and forms is an especially British phenomenon. Reflecting this, the artworks in this book include a rich variety of memorabilia and souvenirs: bronzes, photos, brooches, Fabergé works and many items relating to the British royal family, especially Queen Victoria and her children.
An essay by Wallace Collection director Xavier BRay and a contribution by renowned vet Bruce Fogle explore the history of this abiding connection between dog and human, together with the development of the role of the dog in art, including allegorical imagery of dogs as a metaphor for the human condition.
- Essay written by Xavier Bray, with a contribution by Bruce Fogle
- Dimensions: 24.2x28cm
- Wallace Collection Exclusive
Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough To Hockney
The Wallace Collection, Bond Street, London, UK
March 29, 2023
October 15, 2023