N01581 THE DOG IN THE MANGER 1885
Inscr. ‘W. Hunt 85’ b.r.
Canvas, 40×66 1/2 (101·5×169).
Chantrey Purchase from the artist 1885.
Exh: R.A., 1885 (581).
Lit: Sir Edward J. Poynter, The National Gallery, III, 1900, p. 132, repr. p. 133; Marion Hepworth Dixon, ‘Mr Walter Hunt: Animal Painter’ in Magazine of Art, 1901, p.433, repr. facing p.433 (in colour).
Repr: Art Journal, 1891, facing p.65, etched by James Dobie; The Nation's Pictures, I, 1901, p. 30 (in colour).
Marion Dixon contrasts the tender, pathetic and humorous treatment of animals by Walter Hunt with the more objective realism of J. M. Swan and refers to Hunt's love of young furry things: ‘He keeps a great variety of animals to make endless notes, mental and otherwise of their various actions and expressions. He works very rapidly, never has models before him but studies the animals closely for weeks previously. He is a realist ... but his animals live in an atmosphere of sunshine and are invariably of the sleek, handsome, coaxing kind…