Portraits of Dogs at the Wallace Collection: Director’s Introduction

Tuesday 14th March 6.00PM GMT


This spring sees the opening of a joyous exhibition at the Wallace Collection, dedicated to representations of our canine friends in art. Entitled Faithful and Fearless: Portraits of Dogs, it includes drawings, paintings, sculptures and objets d’art from the past 250 years, showcasing major loans from collections such as The British Museum, Tate Modern and The Royal Collection, as well as prominent private collections in the UK.

We are delighted to welcome The Wallace Collection’s director Dr Xavier Bray who will present a special introduction to the exhibition, in advance of its opening on 29th March.


Dogs often appear in paintings for allegorical purposes, symbolising protection, devotion and fidelity. The tongue-in-cheek inclusion of a yapping white spaniel in Fragonard’s masterpiece, The Swing, a charmingly risqué painting of a young man admiring his mistress, adds to its light-hearted appeal. With the rise in popularity of portraiture, patrons started to commission not only records of themselves and their families, but also their four-legged friends. Artists would devote great attention to capturing every expressive whisker, wet nose and cocked ear, immortalising beloved canines in eloquent and charming portraits whose popularity endures today. Landseer’s Dash and George Stubbs’ Turk are fine examples. Some artists including Gainsborough, Hockney and Hogarth immortalised their own animals in art – Parmigianino made a proud self-portrait holding his dog, just before she gave birth to a large litter of puppies.

The exhibition also explores more generally the role of dogs in history, from gundogs and working dogs to lapdogs and royal dogs, as well as the enduring relationship between humans and their canine friends, with a plethora of examples by artists from Leonardo da Vinci to Lucian Freud.

This will definitely be one of the highlights of 2023’s exhibition calendar – don’t miss it!

Click here to purchase an exhibition catalogue and please see the Wallace Collection website for exhibition tickets. 


This is a live-streamed lecture at 6.00pm (UK time).  It will last approximately one hour including Q&A. Tune in live from anywhere in the world, or if you cannot participate live, you will automatically be sent a recording soon after the end of the session enabling you to watch later that day or during the following 2 days. Please note, the recording is only available to those who have not been able to participate live, and it is not possible to purchase a recording after booking has closed.

Booking closes the day before the event is streamed. Please refer to the Further Information panel below.

Further Information

1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book Now” button, fill in the online booking form and pay online. You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted.

Please ensure you enter your email address correctly, as your Zoom link will be sent to this address, thank you.

The participation fee is £10 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses when booking them as separate participants.


Download ZOOM once you have booked – please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. Zoom works best when using Google Chrome.


You will receive an email approximately 24-48 hours in advance of the event asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will automatically receive the Zoom log in link both on your screen and by email, please keep this safe.

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items’ and ‘junk mail’ folders or click here for advice.


Join the event a few minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch at the time it is live-streamed, you can still book online, as above. You do not need to advise us if you can’t participate live, don’t worry! You will be contacted soon after the event has been broadcast with instructions on how to access the recording. This will be available to watch on catch up later that day and for the following 2 days. Please note, the recording is only available to those who have not been able to participate live, and it is not possible to purchase a recording after booking has closed.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each event that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don’t worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you a recording.

Bookings close the day before the event is streamed.

Rosa Bonheur, Brizo and Edwin (Henry) Landseer, Doubtful Crumbs © Trustees of The Wallace Collection, London