18th-Century Hunting Dogs In A Cave

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An 18th-century oil on canvas depicting several hunting dogs, including spaniels, in a cave before an Italianate landscape.

It’s a skilfully rendered composition, with the eye being drawn towards the lively spaniel in the centre and then out towards the hilltop ruins, via the largest hound.

It’s unusual to find a painting that portrays dogs in this way as typically they’re depicted amid a wooded area or heath. It’s also interesting that two of the dogs are looking directly out at us, which pulls us into the scene. Perhaps the artist is trying to make us feel like one of the pack…

The painting is housed within a beautiful 20th-century scroll and foliate composition frame with swept corners and centre ornaments.

Oil on canvas
Size including frame
27” x 11⅔” / 69cm x 50cm
Year of creation
c. 1775
Craquelure throughout, canvas relined, and frame with repairs.