|Giants at Play, 1882, Briton Riviere
|Naughty Boy, Briton Riviere.
In that the child appears to
be a girl, I assume the title
refers to the dog.
|Riviere familiarized himself with his animal subject matter to the point of dissecting them much as did Leonardo centuries earlier.
"I have always been a great lover of dogs but I have worked at them so much that I've grown tired of having them about me. However, you can never paint a dog unless you are fond of it. I never work from a dog without the assistance of a man who is well acquainted with animals. Collies, I think, are the most restless dogs. Greyhounds are also very restless, and so are fox terriers. The only way to paint wild animals is to gradually accumulate a large number of studies and a great knowledge of the animal itself, before you can paint its picture. I paint from dead animals as well as from live ones. I have had the body of a fine lioness in my studio. I have also done a great deal of work in the dissecting rooms at the Zoological Gardens from time to time."
|Painted animals are always more captivating when interacting with humans, but beware of injecting too much sentimentality into the work. Victorian artists very sometimes did, and have been often criticized for doing so.