Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Bernese Mountain Dog

Bernese mountain dog oil painting. A pet portrait.
We met a Bernese puppy in the car park the other week and I wanted one most desperately. His owner explained the difficulty that - due to a small gene pool - life expectancy for these beautiful dogs has greatly reduced and they rarely live more than 7 years. I thought this was terribly sad and I hope some of the poignancy of that knowledge shows in the portrait I have painted. 

At least he is clearly warm and alive. Sir Edwin Landseer once famously painted a customer's dog after she had died: Jacob Bell had commissioned the famous Victorian artist to paint his beloved bloodhound, Countess. Landseer was a bit slow off the mark, however, and the poor Countess passed away. Bell turned up at Landseer's door with the deceased hound in his arms and Landseer apparently said - "an opportunity too good to miss! Go away and come back Thursday". 
By which time the painting was done. 
Blood Hound Sleeping, by Sir Edwin Landseer
With thanks to James Gurney for that story

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