Dog Art

Every year, during the Westminster Dog Show, Bonham’s in New York holds a sale of dog-related art. Here, collectors and specialized buyers come to purchase the very best in this particular field of art. The popularity of this and other sales focusing on dog art work, proves the interest in this specialized area has not waned over the passing years. From original oil paintings to prints, ceramics and bronze statuettes, the dog in art continues to draw in crowds of canine and art lovers.

What Is Dog Art ?

Dog Art is the depiction of dogs throughout history in any art medium. You will find a wide variety of both art work and articles at a typical dog art auction or sale. Dog art sales may contain oil paintings, water colors, ceramic figurines and bronze statuettes. There can also be old trophies and medals, toys, antique collars and many other dog-related items. Some sales concentrate on the work of some specific artists; others focus on the output of an era. The common binding factor is the emphasis by the artist on the dog. The dog is the major subject of the painting.

Dog Art, however, does tend to be restricted to specific times, artists and origins. The most prolific period is that of the Victorian era (1850-1925). The most popular artists continue to be British. Although there are contemporary and modern artists of the dog, the market is limited. There are very few buyers of modern dog art.

The Purpose of Collecting Dog Art

There are many different reasons why people collect dog art. They range from individual to individual. There are some who like the work of a specific artist. They collect only his portrayal of the dog. There are others who collect dog art work from a particular era or decade. They enjoy, study or admire the works from a different perspective. For them, it is all about seeing what certain breeds once looked like. They may even be following the development of one specific breed of dog from its origins to the present day.


Dog Art is divided into specific types of work. The common thread running through each and every work is the depiction of the canine. The art work can be divided along period lines. Works by the Old Masters predate the beginning of the 19th century. The most popular and prolific era is the Victorian era. This covers the years from 1850 to 1925.

The most common way to subdivide dog art however, is by theme or subject composition. The art work is described as falling into one of at least 4 specific categories. They are sporting painting, Genre Scenes, Portraits and Prints, Etchings, Engravings and Lithographs. Each particular genre of dog art has its talented artists. Each division of this type of art attracts its own following. They concentrate their particular collection on a specific category of dog art work for any number of reasons.

(Article written by Kate Carter)