Henry Crowther, who is known to have painted between the years 1911 and 1933, specialized in paintings of various game dogs and equestrian portraits.
Although very little is known about the artist, enough of his works have surfaced over the years to make some broad statements about him. In addition, there are records of Crowther having exhibited paintings at the Royal Academy in London, as well as the Royal Pavilion Gallery in Brighton, both prestigious venues. “Woodrow Wilson Out Shooting” was one of his works dated 1913.
The author of “Dog Painting, 1840-1940: A Social History of the Dog in Art,” William Secord, has nothing at all to write about the artist’s background but still used three of his works to illustrate the book; one being half-page and in color. Secord notes that Crowther “often painted single dogs in a landscape.” His style is generally thought of as broad-stroked and somewhat abstract, though with great attention to detail.
This portrait is signed by the artist and dated 1932 in the lower left corner. He also added the dog’s name, “Merrie.” Obviously this was a commissioned portrait of a proud owner’s pet.
Crowther seemed to enjoy painting Pekes as I have found several over the years. Perhaps it is the strong, soulful look of the dog that attracted him to paint their image. He used here long brush strokes for the beautiful fur on the dog’s long ears, while preferring shorter ones to capture the thick fur of its chest. The eyes are skillfully and finely painted, showing why he is known for capturing his subjects’ personalities.
He used a muted green background to show off the color of Merrie’s fur. It harmonizes well with the colors of the dog.
The portrait is housed in a fine custom-made wood and gesso gilded frame that has been hand-gilded.
I have had the painting professionally cleaned so it is in ready-to-hang condition.
It measures 16-1/2 inches wide by 14-1/2 inches high, including the frame.
Portrait of a Pekingese Dog by Henry Crowther
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