Drawings of running dogs
Philip Reinagle RA (1749 - 1833)
RA Collection: Art
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, 5th Lord 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that the artist was in dispute with Middleton over financial arrangements and it is possible that the commission was withdrawn.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.
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