The Guardian

The grid

Portraits of dogs: who can say what they might fetch?

Alice Fisher

The exhibition Portraits of Dogs at London’s Wallace Collection (29 March-15 October) was inspired by a single painting of a pet. Not one of the famous works in the show – by Lucian Freud, George Stubbs or Edwin Landseer – or even an image of a fabulous pedigree hound. The influential artwork was A Dog Lying on a Ledge, a picture of a mutt by an unknown artist, that’s a favourite of Wallace Collection director Xavier Bray. It seems appropriate that such an ordinary yet clearly loving portrait inspired a show celebrating our everyday relationship with pets. “Art helps us express our shared experiences with dogs,” says curator Alex Collins “as well as creating likenesses that capture their psychology and emotional bond with us. I would love visitors to leave this exhibition with a new appreciation for the wonders of dog portraiture.”