A Charming c.1850 English Provincial School Oil on Panel; ‘A Dog With The Days Bag’

Origin: British
Period: Mid Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1840-60
Canvas Height: 15.75 inches
Canvas Width: 24 inches

The unframed English school painted in oils on a thick pine panel in the provincial naïve style showing a English pointer bitch in profile, with the day’s bag of six catches morphed into a heap set amongst scattered feathers, to include a hare, four pheasants, and a mallard, all highly and wonderfully stylised in the naïve provincial manner, with a further rabbit hanging in the background from a gnarly oak tree, the whole set amongst a grassy knoll with a forest yonder, survives from the middle of the nineteenth century.

The painting is un-cleaned and has some scuffs and scratches with some gauge marks, which have been re-touched. The overall condition is tired but not worryingly so. The work does not need to be framed, as such, as the panel is thick, and thus it rather suits being unframed and there is an old mounting hook verso.

The provincial execution of the painting is charming and has a fantastical, almost surrealist feel to it. The artist was clearly skilled, and had a very good sense of proportion and colour, but above all a beautifully attuned eye to this particular style. The catch is beautifully balanced with the main cock pheasant’s tail stuck proudly in the air, the other animals eccentrically whirled into an almost bag shaped frenzy with shades of salvidor dali. This subject matter was popular in the nineteenth century for there were a clutch of paintings in the period that showed dogs resting with the day’s bag, for instance by James Hardy.

With a dash of wonderful quirkiness this is provincial naive school at its distinctively wide-eyed but brilliant best.