Sleeping Bloodhound Edwin Henry Landseer Buy Art Prints Now
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Tom Gurney BSc (Hons) is an art history expert with over 20 years experience
Published on June 19, 2020 / Updated on October 14, 2023
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Sleeping Bloodhound by Sir Edwin Henry Landseer is an oil on canvas painting of dimensions 101.6 centimetres by 127.0 centimetres, and was first was exhibited in 1835. The painiting is in the Tate Modern and is not on display. The painting is an expressive animal portrait, typical of Landseer, who is famous for such works.

The painting is as described in the title, a bloodhound sleeping, or at least at rest, the dog's eye's are open, he may be wondering what the painter is actually doing there in his sleeping area, disturbing his rest. It is quite hard to judge what the materials around the dog are, but to the fore, in the lower part of the picture are pink and white, looking to be carpet or blanket and some kind of feathered material, the dog is mainly on the white feathery area but his hindquarters and tail hang into the pink area. It could almost be imagined that the white feathery area could be straw or hay and the dog may be in a stable or kennel. Behind the dog, to the top of the picture, are wooden structures including a post and possibly a kennel area, there are also softer green areas looking like cushions or blankets.

The dog is large, as bloodhounds are, and is curled round slightly, not completely at ease or stretched out in complete relaxation, his eyes are open and one is gazing at the painter as if he is troubled by being disturbed. The dog's colouring is typical bloodhound, black, tan and white, he has muscular hindquarters, hind legs and tail, as well as a strong heavy back and front legs. His ears are long like a bloodhound's but at the angle they look a little shorter than one might expect.

The dog's head and muzzle are tan, with a speckle of white, and his eyes look peturbed, as if he wants to rest but can't, as if he may be asked to rise and work at any minute and is weary. His front legs are tan with small white patches on the paws, the fur on his shoulders is where tan begins to mingle with black, while a more solid black runs down his back and side, onto his tail, which is black. White splashes and tan mark the back of his side and his hindquarters. He is a strong and handsome dog, although his eyes are not symetrical, and his troubled look and the lines round his eyes take away any feelings of peace or sleepiness.