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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 !

Sunday, September 18, 2016

two little sitters, england 1780's

Portrait of George Dawe as a child, circa 1784, by George Morland.
Gift of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts, 1936. Te Papa (1936-0012-96)
Sitters, not setters; I am pretty sure this is a spaniel, but the pun was tempting.  Here's a bucolic portrait by English artist George Morland, whom we last saw illustrating the door to door peddling of guinea pigs.  As I remarked then, Morland's young life was not the easiest, and I believe that made him particularly sensitive to the tenderness and fragility of small creatures.  Here's a better look at the pup:

George Dawe, the child in this portrait, is very likely one and the same to the English painter George Dawe (1781-1829); the timing is right for Dawe to have been a small child around 1784, and his father Philip Dawe was a longtime and staunch friend to Morland during the latter's checkered life.  Dawe later wrote "The Life of George Morland," in which he reports the following:
Some nobleman was desirous of giving Morland a commission for a picture, but when the artist learned that the would-be patron was a lord, he exclaimed: "Damn lords!  I shall paint for no lords!  Tom, bring up Rattler and the puppy!" (p. xvii)
Dawe's book makes for sympathetic but clear-eyed reading - and you can see it here.

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