Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I Love Livestock Portraits

I am currently obsessed with 1800's era British Livestock portraits like this one by R. Whitford, Pen of Theaves:

The paintings depict sheep, cows, pig and the like but are just a little bit off in their representation - these sheep, for instance, are pretty oddly shaped, and their asses are unusually rounded (not that I'm an expert on what sheep butts look like). Apparently in the 1800's, livestock painters would go from farm to farm to paint livestock...sort of like traveling salesmen. These artists were not very highly regarded in the art world, either, but I think their works are charming...
I actually found an even better painting by W.H. David in a back issue of Gastronomica- but I haven't been able to find a photo of that one online to share unfortunately... Check out Thomas Weaver's alarmingly rectangular ram...did it swallow a bathtub?:

I would not want to eat a pig that looked like this portrait by
W. Gwynn. Engr. W. Wright, Shropshire Pig:

And this bull below....there's...just...something...strange...:

Anyways, I want to cover my kitchen walls with these oddities!! Check out the above works and more at The Museum of English Rural Life.

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