|photo courtesy Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection|
I grant you that this painting concerns the hunt, which is not a tender activity. What drew my eye is that Barraud has chosen to show the dogs either before or after - I feel it is after, as they seem more relaxed - and taking pleasure and comfort in each other's company. Do you see how the white terrier is actually sitting on the one foxhound's feet? Imagine my pleasure too to find a reference to Barraud himself indicating that this was the sort of direction he liked to take in his own life. I found it at this good short biography, where a contemporary is quoted on Barraud as "…upright and sincere, and while unsparingly rigid to himself, he was indulgent and considerate towards others."