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White Poodle in a Punt. The painting by George Stubbs
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  • Unframed
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    Gallery Wrap Rolled Canvas

    The artist will add 3 inches (7.5 cm) of extra paint “bleed” to every 4 sides of the canvas. There will still be 1.5 inches (4 cm) of white canvas around all 4 sides of the canvas.

    Stretched
    $236.51
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    W: 3.0 cm
  • R2018-218A
    $342.48
    R2018-218A
    W: 2.5 cm
  • R4613-236
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    R4613-236
    W: 3.0 cm
  • R5130-204
    $423.70
    R5130-204
    W: 6.5 cm
  • R6035-220
    $454.19
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    W: 6.0 cm
  • R40-006
    $372.93
    R40-006
    W: 4.5 cm
  • R75-001
    $433.89
    R75-001
    W: 5.5 cm
  • R6929-302
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    R6929-302
    W: 6.5 cm
  • R4827-234
    $403.42
    R4827-234
    W: 6.5 cm
  • R3013-236
    $352.66
    R3013-236
    W: 3.0 cm
  • R6731-226
    $474.47
    R6731-226
    W: 7.0 cm
  • R6731-224
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    R6731-224
    W: 7.0 cm
  • R2833-204
    $372.93
    R2833-204
    W: 4.0 cm
  • R7034-296
    $474.47
    R7034-296
    W: 6.5 cm
  • R1823-204
    $362.75
    R1823-204
    W: 2.0 cm
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    R50-005
    W: 4.6 cm
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    $393.25
    R65-003-1
    W: 5.0 cm
  • R4827-414A
    $403.42
    R4827-414A
    W: 5.5 cm
  • R8645-298
    $575.99
    R8645-298
    W: 6.5 cm
  • R4827-224
    $403.42
    R4827-224
    W: 6.5 cm

FRAMING INFORMATION

White Poodle in a Punt

A widespread practice for the wealthy and powerful of 18th century England, having a portrait of one’s favorite pet, most commonly a horse or a dog, was a definite sign of one’s station in society. That state of affairs was rather fortunate for the British painter George Stubbs, who possessed unparalleled talent and expertise in the depiction of such animals due to his considerable knowledge of anatomy and was able to make much of his fame through receiving commissions from wealthy patrons, as well as to make a somewhat decent living and even allow himself to undertake more fanciful artistic endeavors on the side. Due to those commissions, Stubbs would often be invited to temporarily reside in the patron’s estate for some time, working at his leisure on beautiful depictions of the estate owner’s most prized living possessions.

In this piece, finalized circa 1780, Stubbs portrayed someone’s pet dog on a punt, a small river leisure boat. The painting itself does not contain any indication of having been named by the painter, and it is believed that the name was given considerably later by an art dealer during the break-up of a lordly estate in Bristol, which has cast some doubts over the actual breed of the dog. Firstly, the breed we now know as poodle was not as popular in the 18th century and, as such, would have been less likely to have been flaunted by its owner. Much more common were the so-called water dogs, like the Poedel, an ancestor of the modern breed, or the Caniche, or even the more geographically likely Norfolk Water-Dog.

Secondly, the dog in the painting bears little resemblance to what the modern breed looks like, which could stem from three possible alternatives: that the dog was not, in fact, a poodle; that it is an exceedingly young dog, which might explain the lack of the sharply chiseled features usually found on the breed since a juvenile dog might not have yet developed them; that this is a very early example of the breed, showing us a snapshot of the breed’s development over time. While the second option seems less likely since one is much more inclined to commission the portrait of an old friend than of a recently acquired pet, breed experts discredit the third, leaving us to believe that the art dealer has misnamed the dog.

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White Poodle in a Punt

George Stubbs

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