cover image Dog Painting--The European Breeds

Dog Painting--The European Breeds

William Secord. ACC Distribution, $79.5 (398pp) ISBN 978-1-85149-238-1

The founder of the Dog Museum in St. Louis and author of Dog Painting: 1840-1940, A Social History of the Dog in Art, Secord here returns with a sort of catalogue raisonn eight years in the making--and worth the wait. Focusing on the 19th century, Secord first delves into the ""dog world"" of the different European countries--hounds on the hunt in France were more likely to be in front of a cart in Belgium--showing how their milieus affected the paintings that resulted. Next, he turns to the paintings themselves, and lingers. Many of the 580 illustrations are published here for the first time, with Secord's lively commentary and captions identifying artist, title and provenance of each painting. An appendix of biographies of dog artists will help hardcore buffs keep track, while The Dog Address Book, also available from ACC, lifts many of the best illustrations. This coffee-table book is produced with the kind of care that makes much of the dog-centered stuff out there look crass. Secord's passion for his subject translates readily, even for those not willing to follow him into dog-painting minutiae; anyone with an interest in realist painting will like this book. (Oct.)