Object Image

A little girl in her best dress sits on the proverbial naughty step, eyes brimming with tears. Her sympathetic canine companion provides dogged, silent support. Briton Riviere was hailed as the ‘Prince of dog-painters’, though he once said his animals were ‘never portraits’. His daughter Millicent sat for the girl. The painting’s first owner thought her a likeness of his own daughter too. In the 19th century childhood was reconceptualised with an emphasis on innocence and purity, epitomised in sentimental artworks like this.

The art critic John Ruskin (1819-1900) once remarked privately that this painting was better suited for a home than a museum. It was reproduced by the engraver Frederick S...

Oil on canvas
121.8 x 101.5cm

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