Dogs online exhibition
Briton Riviere 1840-1920
Oil on canvas, dated 1869
Accession number LL3123
This painting shows a poacher and his faithful dog awaiting trial. The dog as a companion in adversity became a subject frequently treated by the artist, for example 'His Only Friend' (1871) at Manchester Art Gallery, Sympathy' (1877) at the Royal Holloway College and 'Companions in Misfortune (1883) at Tate Britain.
'Fidelity' was well received by the critics, although the Times objected to its lack of realism - prisoners are not locked up with their dogs, earthenware jars and loose straw. The Art Journal critic particularly admired the dog:
'very admirable for the expression of sympathy and pity he bestows upon his master; the head is well studied and capitally painted.'
From the Lady Lever Art Gallery.
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