London Art Exhibit Goes to the Dogs 'til October 2023

London Art Exhibit Goes to the Dogs 'til October 2023


A new exhibition at London's The Wallace Collection entitled Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney, will be paying tribute to humankind's ever-evolving relationship with dogs from March 29 to October 15, 2023. With more than 50 works of art featuring canines, the exhibit will include paintings ranging from the masters all the way to David Hockney's popular snausage dogs from the 20th century.

And it isn't just paintings that will be on display. Visitors will be treated to drawings, sculptures, and other forms of visual art.

It's All About the Dogs

While the art is definitely varied, you won't see any velvet paintings of dogs huddled around a table playing poker while wearing visors and smoking cigars (spoiler alert!) should you attend.

Among the works is said to be a late first-century Roman marble sculpture known as "The Townley Greyhounds" depicting two dogs playfully grouped together. The one seems to be inspecting the other's ear, whether to groom it or in fun, but you can sense the gentle nature the gesture imparts.

Another early work is a series of sketches done by Leonardo da Vinci circa 1490-95. Reportedly created via metal point, his obsession with anatomy is clear as he examines a dog's left forepaw in marvelous detail. Referred to as Studies of a Dog's Paw throughout the art world, it's thought to be modeled on a deerhound's paw.

Britain, like the U.S., is a nation of dog lovers, so it should come as no surprise that there would be great interest in an exhibit such as this.

The show is said to wind up with the 1995 works of David Hockney's adopted dachshunds, Stanley and Boodgie, who he brought home in 1987. Easily recognizable by their vivid colors and minimalist style, they captured the silliness of the lovable breed and remain incredibly popular even today.

"These two dear little creatures are my friends," Hockney wrote in his Dog Days notebook about his muses. "They are intelligent, loving, comical and often bored. They watch me work; I notice the warm shapes they make together, their sadness and their delights."

If you are going to be in the area between now and October, you can enquire about tickets through The Wallace Collection website.

Rebecca West

Rebecca is a writer and editor for both print and digital with a love for travel, history, archaeology, trivia, and architecture. Much of her writing has focused on human and animal health and welfare. A life-long pet owner, she has taken part in fostering dogs for military members during deployment and given many rescued and surrendered dogs the forever home they always wanted. Her two favorite canine quotes are, "Be the kind of person your dog thinks you are," and "My dog rescued me."

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