On the Scent (England c. 1860)
Edward Armfield (1817-1896)Oil on canvas
Dimensions:50 inch wide (127.00 cm)
30 inch high (76.20 cm)
Edward Armfield was a prolific and popular artist who specialised in paintings of terriers ratting and sporting dogs. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, British Institute and Suffolk Street. Terriers had long been used for sports other than fighting and for centuries had been used to control vermin. The Victorian era was age of pet portraits, with the most important influence on their popularity being Queen Victoria who owned an extensive number of dog breeds including terriers. This created a demand for portraits of dogs, and artists such as Armfield who were able to accurately portray them in action proved very popular. Although he had a large output, Armfield occasionally completed a picture far superior to his other paintings, as in this example here. His style is similar to that of George Armfield (1820 – 1893) to whom he is widely believed to have been related.