T02264 Pointer Bitch c.1740
Inscribed ‘J:S’ b.l.
Oil on canvas 921×1046 (36 1/4×45 1/8)
Bequeathed by Miss Agnes Clarke 1978
PROVENANCE ...; according to Miss Clarke's solicitors, probably bt in the 1950s in England by Miss Clarke and/or her brother, John Semple Clarke (formerly citizens of USA), who settled after World War II at Killagorden House, Idless, Truro, Cornwall
Some doubts must attend a positive attribution to Seymour, since the style, particularly in the rather loosely painted background, does not seem crisp enough for this to be Seymour's own work. Similar initials appear on other paintings and drawings which are unlikely to be by Seymour himself, although evidently (like T02264) contemporary with his work.
The pointer bitch is seen in profile in the foreground, and again (her distinctive markings establishing her identity) in the middle distance, this time in action, with a sportsman and two shooting ponies, one held by a groom. This is evidently a commissioned portrait of a particular animal, perhaps prized both for her skill in the field and for breeding purposes. All clues to her identity are now lost, but the prominent thistle in the foreground on the right may indicate that her proud owner was Scottish.
Elizabeth Einberg and Judy Egerton, The Age of Hogarth: British Painters Born 1675-1709, Tate Gallery Collections, II, London 1988