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Pets in Portraits


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''Look at people and their pets today. Pets tell something about their owners, whether they are bought to make a fashion statement, as child substitutes or as an expression of unconditional love between two sentient beings.'' So remarked Robin Gibson, the author of this book, on its first publication in 1998. ''It is about the various animals that appear in portraits in the National Portrait Gallery, but it is also about the owners of the animals who commissioned the portraits. The association of the subject or indeed the artist of a portrait with a pet immediately adds a further dimension to our understanding of the characterization. From the little terrier that records Lady Caroline Lamb's first extramarital affair to Queen Victoria's dogs, photographed with her Ghillie John Brown; from the extraordinary images of ballet dancer Anna Pavlova and her pet swan to the writer Edith Sitwell and her favorite cat, this book charts the British love affair with the domestic pet. For this new edition, the naturalist, photographer and television presenter Chris Packham has contributed an introduction with additional portraits from the Gallery's collections. Amusing and surprising, this delightful book provides unusual insights into the bond between sitters and their faithful companions.Softcover, 144 pages