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  • Hounds and a Magpie

    Artist:
    Wootton, John. 1681/82-1764
    Technique:
    oil
    Dimensions:
    152x128 cm

Wootton, John. 1681/82-1764

Hounds and a Magpie

Great Britain,

In the famous collection of Sir Robert Walpole this painting hung above the fireplace in a small breakfast room at Houghton Hall. It must have fitted naturally into life in a wealthy country house, where hunting was an important element in the leisure pursuits both of the host and his numerous guests. It was the English passion for hunting, riding and horse races, which led to the birth of a genre which is very much a British phenomenon - sporting art. This term covers images of hunting dogs and thoroughbred horses, as well as charming scenes of the hunt itself and sporting competitions. Wootton himself was an early exponent of the genre and Horace Walpole, Sir Robert's famous son, wrote that Wootton "was particularly qualified to please in this country - I mean, by painting horses and dogs, which he both drew and coloured with consummate skill, fire and truth". It may be that this painting is a "portrait" of particular dogs, the favourite dogs of the 1st Earl of Orford, Robert Walpole. The magpie usually accompanied them at hunting.

Title:

Hounds and a Magpie

Place:

Material:

Technique:

oil

Dimensions:

152x128 cm

Acquisition date:

Entered the Hermitage in 1958; transferred from the Pavlovsk Palace-Museum through the Storage Centre of Museum Funds; formerly was in the Gatchina Palace

Inventory Number:

ГЭ-9781

Category:

Collection: