English Naive School
Fine Large Early Naive Sporting Dog Portrait
Oils on Canvas
Indistinctly Signed Lower Left, possibly “Sands”
The Estate and Private Collection of Stephen Long.
Discovered in somewhat neglected and untouched condition, this fine early naive sporting dog portrait, of significant scale, has now been professionally cleaned and conserved to reveal a well conceived composition, a confident naive execution and a subtle palette. The three dogs dominate the foreground with their bold silhouettes and slightly static poses, framed by the stylised foliage. They are confidently detailed with individual markings, lively eyes and textured fur and behind them in the middle distance are two sportsmen holding guns and another working dog, with distant hills and a cloudy sky completing the image. The canvas has been re-lined for strength and conservation and two small holes have been repaired and re-touched as necessary. The canvas has been stored in a slightly damp atmosphere and was control dried prior to lining, the artist applied the paint in thin glazes which have been cleaned, touched up in the areas of minor losses and lightly varnished. Whilst agricultural Prize Livestock and occasional paintings of pets form a major part of the British Vernacular of primitive paintings, multiple Sporting Dog portraits of this type and scale are extraordinarily rare and this example is an exciting discovery.