A drawing of one of Lord Middleton's foxhounds
Philip Reinagle RA (1749 - 1833)
RA Collection: Art
A pencil and watercolour drawing of a running dog viewed in profile. According to the inscription the animal belonged to Lord Middleton (Henry Willoughby, 6th Baron Middleton, 1761-1835). The drawing is quite detailed and was possibly a preparatory sketch for a painting. The foxhound bears some resemblance to the one on the right hand side in Reinagle's 'Foxhounds in pursuit' (lot 106 Sotheby's London, 13th November 1991). This painting was engraved and published in William Taplin's The Sportsman's Cabinet, London 1803, vol II, facing p.180.
Reinagle painted for Middleton and several drawings in this group are inscribed 'Lord Middleton's Hunt'. However, copies of letters from Philip Reinagle to his wife Jane written in 1818 refer to a dispute over prices with this patron (see RA Archives 842.D RE/14) and some of Middleton's commissions were probably withdrawn.
Philip Reinagle began his career as a portraitist having trained with Allan Ramsay. However, during the 1780s and 1790s he began to concentrate instead on landscape and animal painting. During the first decade of the 19th century Reinagle began to specialise in dog painting. This new interest was encouraged by his friendship with the eccentric Colonel Thomas Thornton (1751/2-1853), a keen huntsman and breeder of greyhounds who was also a collector of animal paintings. Reinagle established a reputation as a dog painter through his series of pictures of sporting dogs, which were engraved and published in William Taplin's The Sportsman's Cabinet , London 1803. At least one of the dogs represented in this publication was owned by Thornton.
These drawings are preparatory studies for a painting of Lord Middleton's hunt on which Reinagle was working c.1817-8. Henry Willoughby, 6th Baron Middleton, was a well-known hunting enthusiast and Reinagle probably became acquainted with him through his friend and patron, Colonel Thomas Thornton, a keen huntsman, dog breeder and art collector. However, copies of letters from Reinagle to his wife written in 1818, (Royal Academy Archive), reveal that the artist was in dispute with Middleton over financial arrangements and it is possible that the commission was withdrawn. It is not known whether Reinagle ever painted the hunt.
280 mm x 177 mm
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