|thanks wikimedia commons (PD-old-100)|
It's the eyes that got me. Those calm, almost human eyes, happy to gaze upon a friendly presence for however long is good (or until a bird needs pointing). I know that look. I expect to see it myself any second now. So I feel sincere appreciation for the artist, Jacques-Laurent Agasse (1767-1849), who came from Switzerland to become one of England's greatest animal painters of his time. He studied with David in Paris, and was a student of veterinary medicine. Some time after his return to Switzerland he painted a portrait of an English gentleman's dog, upon which the client brought Agasse back to England with him. Agasse died there, and by some reports in poverty despite his acknowledged gift for capturing horses and dogs on canvas. Apparently it wasn't money that drove him. But I already guessed that from seeing this work.