Sleeping Bloodhound by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, R.A. C. G. Lewis, engraver. Source: the 1871 The Art-Journal. Image capture and formatting by George P. Landow. [You may use this image without prior permission for any scholarly or educational purpose as long as you (1) credit the Hathi Trust Digital Library and the University of Michigan and (2) link your document to this URL in a web document or cite the Victorian Web in a print one. [Click on image to enlarge it.]

Commentary by The Art-Journal

A true believer in the doctrine of metempsychosis may well suppose that the soul of Sir Edwin Landseer will hereafter pass into the body of some dog, so thoroughly have the painter and the animal been associated together for many years. Pope speaks of the untutored Indian" and his dog sharing the same immortality of happiness: '"He thinks, admitted to that equal sky, His faithful dog will bear him company and certainly, if fidelity, and love, and trust, would secure such a privilege, a very large number of the canine race would be entitled to it.

What new thing can be said about Sir Edwin and his dog-pictures? The latter have long since exhausted all the eulogy that could possibly be bestowed on them by writers. Such dogs as his were never before seen on canvas, and probably never will be again. Here is a magnificent fellow, a "retainer" in some lordly mansion of old; he is said to be asleep, but he has an eye half-open, and is keeping watch and ward against any intruder; and his ears are on the listen, as if he heard the approach of some well-known footstep, possibly that of his master, who owns the strong helmet near him. "It is but a dog, after all," perhaps some hypercritic of Art may observe. "True," we reply; "but Landseer's dogs are not every-day dogs; and here is one of them."


“Selected Pictures from the National Collection: Sleeping Bloodhound.” Art Journal (1871): 244-45. Hathi Trust Digital Library version of a copy in the University of Michigan Library. Web. 9 August 2013.

Last modified 9 August 2013