Take a peek inside the latest addition to our ever-growing canine library – Pets in Portraits by the National Portrait Gallery, launched this week to celebrate Britain’s on-going love affair with our pets.
A lovely buy for an arty animal lover, the book shares remarkable stories about historic and famous pet owners including Wallace Simpson and her Pug Dizzy, Queen Elizabeth II and her Corgi Spark, and Russian Ballerina Anna Pavlova and her pet Swan Jack. With our namesake and her black and white dog with its name that starts with a ‘B’, we’re particularly taken with Queen Alexandra and her Pekinese Billie shown here.
Exploring the inimitable bond between people and their pets throughout history, the book explores the story behind more than 80 paintings and photographs from the Gallery’s collection, revisiting and explaining the scandalous symbolism, fashion statements and tales of unconditional love behind every animal. Scroll down for some of our favourite images.
To celebrate the launch Barkarama has three copies to giveaway – follow this LINK to enter. The National Portrait Gallery is also running a competition of its own, which we’re sure you’ll also enjoy. They’re inviting pet owners and budding artists to recreate pet portraits twenty first century style to give a current representation of modern society’s pets.
The entries will be short-listed by the National Portrait Gallery, and the short-listed entrants will be invited to the Gallery to see their pictures displayed at the book’s official launch party. The winner will be unveiled on the night and gifted vouchers of £100 from the National Portrait Gallery Shop and £200 from the pet lifestyle emporium PetsPyjamas.
To enter the National Portrait Gallery’s competition, simply post a picture of you and your pet, tagging @NPGLondon on Twitter or @nationalportraitgallery on Instagram, adding the hashtag #PetsInPortraits. Entries will be accepted through Twitter, Instagram or posted on blogs, and the cut off date is 8 April. The winner will be unveiled on 16 April.
Pets in Portraits by Robin Gibson with an introduction by Chris Packham (of The Really Wild Show) is priced at £10, and is available in the National Portrait Gallery shop (St. Martin’s Place, London WC2H 0HE) or online at npg.org.uk/shop.
NPG 1889, Queen Alexandra, after Sir (Samuel) Luke Fildes, oil on canvas, 1920 (1894)
National Portrait Gallery - Pets in Portraits - The Duke and Duchess of Windsor with Dizzy 1955
National Portrait Gallery - Pets in Portraits - HM Queen Elizabeth II 1985-6
National Portrait Gallery - Pets in Portraits - Anna Pavlova with Jack 1927
NPG x35278 John Brown by Hills & Saunders half-plate glass negative, early 1880s
All © National Portrait Gallery, London