About Me

My photo
Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

he'd seem so much less without his dog

William Owen, 1769–1825, British, Portrait of a Man, ca. 1815
Oil on canvas, Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection (PD)
As fine a Regency figure of a man as this unknown sportsman might be, he's just not as interesting without his dog.  Try blanking the spaniel out with your thumb and tell me if you don't agree.  By the way, doesn't that dog have the sweetest, most worshipful little face?  We've seen that before in these British portraits:  the confident body language, the adoring creature.  I'm not going to go off on a tangent about the portrait as shorthand for the British empire, I swear I'm not.  Meanwhile, I will say that William Owen's life even in its briefest Wikipedia form is full of colorful details:  his wife's name was Lener Leaf, and he died from an accidental overdose of patent medicine.

No comments: