19thC BULL PAINTING / ENGLISH SCHOOL ANIMAL PORTRAIT
This early 19th-century English School depiction of an oversized bull is a great example both of a fine physical specimen and that painting genre. The typically over exaggerated trunk and small limbs were characteristics of the style made popular by 19th- century animal portraitists. Gentlemen farmers and cattle breeders commissioned portraits of their prize winning cattle, in order to capture the desired physical characteristics of the breeds they sought to improve. Commissioned portraits such as this one were useful to document the development of breeds of beef and dairy cattle. This portrait also served to illuminate the subject's intelligent eye, his handsome coat and corpulent body. The oil on canvas painting is signed but the signature is illegible. However it is clear that the artist is an excellent animal painter whose work is similar to the paintings of renowned animal artist Richard Whitford. The painting measures 12 x 16 inches, sight size, and 16 x 20 inches framed, and is in extremely good condition in a period frame.