Beauty and the Beast

For the seventh edition in their Hidden Gems series, Liss Llewellyn are delighted to unveil Beauty and the Beast – an online exhibition dedicated to animals in Modern British Art.

With the discovery of cave paintings in sites such as Lascaux or the Creswell Crags, animals are now considered the earliest known subject of Western Art. Indeed, many artists throughout history have specialised in animal art, and many are now indelibly linked with their depiction of certain species or pets.

Titian was well-known as a painter of dogs (here caricatured by Douglas Percy Bliss); so much so that the Papillon – the breed most associated with his work – is commonly referred to as a Titian Spaniel. Dogs in this exhibition are also shown in more conventional, domestic settings. They are the beloved pets of their artist masters; as in the etched portrait of Robert Austin’s Dalmatian, ‘Ling’, Albert de Belleroche’s ‘Lance’, or Gladys Hynes’ Siamese Cat.

Birds also feature in this menagerie. There is Anna Zinkeisen’s study of a medieval falcon for her mural at the Refectory Club, Mayfair, while the curiously human expression of Winifred Knights Owl recalls the Mystic Lamb of Jan van Eyck’s Ghent Altarpiece. Elsewhere, the work of two friends and fellow War Artists sharply contrast. Richard Carline was posted to the Middle East during WWI, and painted his Sacred Cows following a stint in India shortly afterwards. No such sign of reverence can be seen in Gilbert Spencer’s Protective Covering, which shows the Grasmere Home Guard using the local sheep as a defensive screen.

Works FEATURED in this Exhibition

Gladys Hynes
Siamese Cat in a Tree, 1937
Douglas Percy Bliss
Rachel Reckitt
Matador, c. 1955
Anna Zinkeisen
A Hooded Falcon, circa 1955
Winifred Knights
Owl, circa 1922
Gilbert Spencer
Two calves, 1930
Gilbert Spencer
Protective Covering
Albert de Belleroche
Lance at Dunain House
Charles Frederick Tunnicliffe R.A.
Stallion and Groom, the original block, circa 1935
Winifred Knights
Self Portrait as Little Miss Muffet, June 1918
Clare Leighton
Hog Killing, 1942
Eric Ravilious
Tirzah on a cockerel, 1931
Robert Austin
Ling of Lingard, 1936 (CD 115)
Raymond Sheppard
Monarch of the Glen, circa 1935