Portrait of an Extraordinary Musical Dog (Primary Title)

Philip Reinagle, English, 1749 - 1833 (Artist)

1805
English
oil on canvas
Unframed: 28 1/4 × 36 1/2 in. (71.76 × 92.71 cm)
Framed: 32 1/8 × 40 in. (81.6 × 101.6 cm)
85.465
Not on view
Much argument has been made over the meaning of this image. It has been seen as an exemplar of successful spaniel breeding, as a satire on human infant prodigies, or as loyalist propaganda (the music is sometimes identified as “God save the King/Queen”). Without a doubt, however, the artist must have had a strong general appreciation for the remarkable intelligence of dogs if not a somewhat comic attitude to this “extraordinary” specimen.
not signed
Paul Mellon Collection
2018-2019: "A Sporting Vision: The Paul Mellon Collection of British Sporting Art from the VMFA", National Sporting Museum & Library, Middleburg, VA, April 13 - July 22, 2018; Frist Art Museum, Nashville, TN, February 2 - May 5, 2019; Frick Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA, June 15 - September 8, 2019
Cormack, Malcolm. Country Pursuits: British, American, and French Sporting Art from the Mellon Collections in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2007. (cat. no. 5, pp. 110-11)

Mathew Senior, ed., A Cultural History of Animals In the Age of Enlightment (Oxford & New York: Berg Publishers, 2007) p. 189, b&w ill. fig. 7.18, p. 190.

Sam Leith, Dead Pets Eat Them Stuff Them Love Them (Edinburgh: Canongate, 2005) b&w ill. p. 72.

Benjamin Genocchio, "From Whimsical to the Sublime: Dogs Through the Ages Have Their Day," New York Times, June 23, 2006 [page unknown].

Edgar Peters Bowron et al, Best in Show The Dog in Art from the Renaissance to Today ex. cat. (Houston; MFA and Bruce Museum, Greenwich, in asso. with Yale University Press, 2006) pp. 55-56, 147, color ill. fig. 43, p. 56.

Laurence Libin, "The Art of Music," BBC Music Magazine April 2001, p. 20, color ill. p. 21.

William Vaughan, British Painting The Golden Age (London: Thames and Hudson, 1999) p. 173, b&w ill. fig. 118, p. 172, credit p. 254.

Anne Barriault, Selections Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Richmond: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 1997) p. 69, ill. (color).

“Third Grade Students Offer Impressions of Museum Tour,” Rappahannock Record (Kilmarnock, Virginia), May 8, 1997, page unknown.

Hope Levy, “Dog Art: Found in a Collection Near You?” Sirius newsletter from the Dog Museum, St. Louis, MO, Fall 1995, p. 4, ill.

Katrin Seybold, Bestiarium (film), 1991.

Peggy Roalf, Looking at Paintings Dogs (New York: Hyperion Books for Children, 1993) pp. 22-23, ill.

William Secord, Dog Painting 1840-1940 (England: Antique Collectors' Club, 1992), p. 247, pl. 212.

James S. Wamsley, "Horses and Hounds," Southern Accents, Vol. 17, No. 5, Sept/Oct 1994, pp. 53, 56, ill.
Image released via Creative Commons CC-BY-NC

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