GEORGE EARL | A FIELD TRIAL MEETING AT BALA, NORTH WALES, WITH PORTRAITS OF JUDGES, OWNERS, BREAKERS AND WINNING DOGS
Property from the Estate of Marcel Lindenbaum
1824 - 1908
A FIELD TRIAL MEETING AT BALA, NORTH WALES, WITH PORTRAITS OF JUDGES, OWNERS, BREAKERS AND WINNING DOGS
oil on canvas
52¼ by 77¾ in.
132.7 by 197.5 cm
The work is unlined, but a strip lining has been added to additions to the canvas, which were very likely added by the artist himself along the left, right and lower edges. The seams of the canvas additions are visible to the naked eye. There is minor surface dirt and dust with a few isolated pin dots of accretion. Scattered, widely patterned craquelure and pigment separation visible in the area covering the figures and dogs, with finely patterned craquelure in the sky. Frame abrasion visible on the right edge of the picture.
The work has been selectively cleaned and selectively strengthened. There are scattered retouches mainly to address craquelure, including a few larger areas in the upper left and in the sky. Strengthening and additional smaller areas of retouching visible throughout figures and dogs. There is brushy, broadly applied inpainting to the aforementioned seams.
In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective qualified opinion.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS
CONCERNING CONDITION OF A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD "AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF SALE PRINTED IN THE CATALOGUE.
Talbot Radcliffe, Presaddfed Estate, Anglesey, Wales (and sold, Christie's, New York, May 30, 1980, lot 299, illustrated)
Sale: Sotheby's, New York, June 8, 1990, lot 90, illustrated
Acquired at the above sale
William Secord, Dog Painting 1840-1940, A Social History of the Dog, Suffolk, England, p. 121-22, no. 50, illustrated
Established in 1873 amidst the growing popularity of dog shows in Britain, The Kennel Club sought to apply a standard of breeding rules and stud book registration already commonplace in the upper echelons of the equestrian world to dogs. George Earl, an early member of the club, aimed to bolster the canine community in a similar way to his predecessor George Stubbs, who, through his equine portraiture, had elevated horses from common animals to celebrity portrait sitters.
In the present work, Earl invents a trial meeting of pointers and setters, set at Bala, North Wales, as a composite stage to collect the famous faces of the day, celebrating the superiority of British gundogs. The earthy, atmospheric setting in the Welsh highlands is distinctly British, and each dog is of traditionally British breeding save for one, Plunkett, the Irish Setter. In the present work, a plaque along the bottom edge of the painting lists each dog’s name, placing a unique emphasis on the animals' identities. As an homage to his contributions as an early member of The Kennel Club, several works by Earl and his daughter Maud currently remain in the art gallery in their headquarters in London.