Jean-Jacques Bachelier - Dog Of The Havana Breed © The Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle


Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney

Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney | Puppy love at The Wallace Collection

What did the likes of Gainsborough, Ward and Hockney have in common?

They all loved dogs.

Obviously they were all great painters too, there’s no denying that. But their doggos also played a vital part in their lives, and this exhibition – possibly the cutest exhibition going on at London’s art galleries right now – is set to show just how dedicated (some might say obsessed…) these famous artists of yore were to their four-legged best friends… as well as showing yet again that dogs make the most handsome models. 

Portraits of Dogs

Rosa Bonheur – Brizo, A Shepherd’s Dog © The Wallace Collection

Taking place at The Wallace Collection, Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney will put over 50 dog-based artworks on display (loaned from the British Museum, Tate Modern and other major private collections in the UK), depicting painted pooches of all shapes and sizes, defining their wagging tails, expressive faces, wet noses and slobber, with the greatest of detail.

You’ll be able to admire the beauty of David Hockney’s two dachshunds, Stanley and Boogie; smirk at the contrast between a conked out St Bernard and a teeny black and tan terrier in Edwin Landseer’s Doubtful Crumbs; appreciate the unwavering loyalty of Lucian Freud’s curled up sleeping whippet, Pluto, via expressionist oil paintings; and fall for Brizo’s puppy dog eyes – the French otterhound owned by Rosa Bonheur.  

Portraits of Dogs

Edwin Landseer – Doubtful Crumbs © The Trustees Of The Wallace Collection

Besides simply giving you an opportunity to go weak at the knees before all the dog art on the walls, Portraits of Dogs aims to give a deeper account of how the relationship between canines and art has developed over the past 250 years, while celebrating their unbreakable bond with us humans. You’ll also learn about how they worked as lap dogs, royal dogs and gun dogs, and, alongside paintings, they’ll be captured through drawings, sculptures and objets d’art. And if you’re a cat person who’s stumbled in here seeking validation for your preferred pet? 

You’re barking up the wrong tree…


NOTE: Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney has now finished.

The Wallace Collection | Hertford House, Manchester Square, W1U 3BN

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Portraits of Dogs: From Gainsborough to Hockney

The Wallace Collection, Manchester Square, Marylebone, W1U 3BN