Friday, May 27, 2011

Dignity and Impudence

(click to enlarge)
Sir Edwin Henry Landseer
(English, 1802-1873)
Dignity and Impudence, 1839
Oil on canvas


  1. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

  2. How sweeet. This reminds me of my two dogs. One is large and sweet and dignified. The other is small and impulsive.

  3. The original draft study for this painting saw the hound 'Grafton' espousing rather ordinary 'devotion' towards his approaching master, while little Scratch was almost irate. Their owner, chemist Jacob Bell was the artist's mentor/carer/ companion following his 'breakdown' which occured after the portrait was re-worked and completed according to his patron-mentor's wishes. It is possible Bell felt Grafton's uninteresting and predictable 'devotion' and Scratch's irritating bad manners were not flattering- nor 'patronising', in any event in 1839 he advised Lanny to paint; not what he saw, but what his Patrons wanted to see. Consequently, the artist brilliantly morphed the soppy devotion and irate indifference, Grafton now noble as befits a great master, the pesky terrier now sprouts a pink toungue (not in the draft drawing) and epitomises charm. This devastating, irrevocable advice may have contributed to the great man's 'wilds of mind' interlude later that year. (This broke and shamed young Charlotte Bronte's heart - a recent portrait discovery suggests). He was the nation's greatest man of art ever- his 'flying deer' bouncing still on our roadsigns- probably, our bronze lion's are among the most magnificent and widely adored artefacts on the planet? James Gorin von Grozny

  4. Thanks for sharing those interesting facts!