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Sunday, 2 January 2011

Painting of the Month (13): January 2011, Dignity and Impudence, Landseer

Dignity and Impudence, Sir Edwin Landseer, 1839
 The Victorians were extremely fond of sentimental and 'moral' paintings. Generally I am not, but this picture is an exception. Landseer was a skilled painter and was often commissioned by Queen Victoria to make family portraits but his greatest talent was as a painter of animals. His most famous works are The Monarch of the Glen and the sculpture of the lions at the base of Nelson's column in Trafalgar Square, London. These two dogs belonged to Jacob Bell, a friend of the artist who commissioned the picture. Rather unusually, what makes the painting really work, for me at least, is the title.
I think 'Dignity and Impudence' sums up these two so perfectly that a layer of depth is added to the viewing experience.
Here are links to the first 10 Paintings of the Month.
February: Cezanne
March: Turner
April: Hockney
May: Giotto
June: van Gogh
July: Constable
August: Cezanne
September: Vermeer
October: GĂ©ricault
November: Bonnard
December: Banksy


David said...

Dear bazza,
Nice painting, but not altogether my cup of tea. Unlike the Victorians, I feel that paintings should be neither sentimental nor particularly moral.
Having said that, it would be a boring old place if we all shared the same tastes, would it not?
Wishing you a peaceful, healthy and happy New Year,

joanne fox said...

Oh I'm a big softie for anything with animals in, so I love it. I'd be very happy to have that on my wall.

Happy New Year.

bazza said...

Hi David. As you may have gathered, I also am not a fan of this type of thing generally but I am happy to recognise the quality of this picture despite my prejudices! Although I love animals and wildlife, for some reason, paintings don't 'do it' for me. I love John's photographs at ‘Hedgeland Tales’

Hello Joanne. I would like to own the dogs! However, I would soon tire of the picture, (I think!)

Sir Tom Eagerly said...

I do rather like the Monarch of the Glen, Bazza, but my type are supposed to shoot the bloody things; I don't go along with that at all old boy.
Live and let live, what?

bazza said...

Well Sir Tom, we find ourselves in complete agreement. Is that a first? Welcome to 2011!

RAabin said...

Hi Bazza - thank you very much for visiting - yes I am a professonal Botanical Photographer - very interesting site - I really like the painting - lived on a farm - had over twenty dogs - my last one I had was a fawn British Boxer - HAPPY NEW YEAR & thank you again -

bazza said...

RAabin: Thanks for visiting. I reccomend your site to all!

Rob said...

Their facial expressions are remarkably human like.

klahanie said...

Hi bazza,
I quite like the painting but I think it wouldn't exactly be showcased in my home. Would clash with my posters of 'Homer Simpson'.
Here's wishing all of your loved ones, a healthy and positive New Year.
With respect, Gary.

THE SNEE said...

Hi Bazza,

I thought that perhaps you were referring to a landseer in the painting rather than the artist when I first read this post. Though, clearly this is not a landseer. I like this painting. though I'm not sure where I'd hang it. What I'm really looking forward to this year, is Bazza featured as the painting of the month. Is it a possibility?

Hope you are well, and that Sonny's recovery is strong and steady.

joanne rose said...

the title really does make the painting, doesn't it.

kind of makes me laugh at the way we humans assign qualities like these to dogs... the dogs...ahem...gods probably get a good laugh at our evaluations of them.

bazza said...

Rob: A belated Happy New Year to you Rob. Don't you think that the title helps to anthropomorphise them?

Gary: Ha ha! Yes, on balance I might prefer Homer too. (After all, he did feature in the 'My Heroes' series.) All the best to you and yours too.

Snee: Did you know that the black and white Newfoundland breed called Landseers were named after Sir Edwin who often featured them in his paintings. Nor did I until just now!
Sonny's recovery is slow and unpleasant but moving in the right direction. I will put up the occassional report here but I don't want to depress everyone! Thanks for for your concern Rebecca; it is very much appreciated.

Joanne: Absolutely! (See my response to Rob, above.) BTW, I like the new 'Bernadette' icon!

THE SNEE said...

Now that little trivia on the origins of the Landseer dog's name really made my day! Thanks Bazza!

kerrie said...

Gooday B
I enjoyed the view very much -you are very thought provoking blogger! I feel a little enlighted every time I visit your blog

bazza said...

Snee: Actually, it made mine too!

Kerrie: Now you are making me blush. Thank you!