Peter Nahum, London, 1999 where purchased by the present owner
Although the present picture has traditionally been known as Lady Walking her Dog, it is likely to have a more poetic interpretation. The tattered classical gown which appears to be metamorphosing into hair, suggests that this maiden is Callisto, the daughter of King Lycaon of Arcadia, who was himself turned into a wolf. Callisto was one of Diana’s huntresses, transformed by Juno into a bear when she discovered that the nymph had been seduced by Jupiter who later transformed her into the constellation Ursa Major. Hughes had painted Callisto in another watercolour entitled The Nymph Callisto, dressed in the same dress and here she seems to be at the moment of transformation as her once-faithful hound pulls away from her.
This watercolour is in good condition. The paper is flat in the frame and there are no signs of staining or foxing. The picture is ready to hang.
This picture is contained in a moulded plaster and gilt frame with a clean fabric mount and under glass. "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. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."