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Oil painting - Two greyhounds
  • Two greyhounds
    Jadin, Louis Godefroy, born 1805 - died 1882
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Two greyhounds

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Paris (probably, painted)

  • Date:

    1850 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Jadin, Louis Godefroy, born 1805 - died 1882 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Oil on canvas

  • Credit Line:

    Given by F. R. Bryan

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

Louis Godefroy Jadin (1805-1882) was born in Paris and subsequently trained under the supervision of Louis Hersent (1777-1860), Alexandre Abel de Pujol (1785-1861), Paul Huet (1803-1869), Richard Parkes Bonington (1802-1828) and Alexandre-Gabriel Decamps (1803-1860). He soon specialised in hunting scenes and still-lifes. He started exhibiting at the Salon in 1831, being awarded in 1840 and 1855. he was a close friend of the writer Alexandre Dumas and often accompanied him in his travels. He trained his son, Charles-Emmanuel who imitated his father's style.

This painting is a fine example of animal painting fashionable during Napoleon III's Second Empire in France. While greyhounds appear to be the very hunting dogs, this work reflects the habits of the Emperor, who revived the glorious hunting past of the French sovereigns, but also the new interest for animals subjects and observation of nature successively reactivated by Romanticism and Realism.

Physical description

Two greyhounds standing is the courtyard with straw on the left and distant trees on the right background.

Place of Origin

Paris (probably, painted)


1850 (painted)


Jadin, Louis Godefroy, born 1805 - died 1882 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

Oil on canvas

Marks and inscriptions

'G. Jadin. 1850'
Signed and dated lower right


Height: 114 cm estimate, Width: 146 cm estimate

Object history note

Given by F. R. Bryan, 1880

Historical significance: This painting is a good example of Jadin's animal paintings. He specialised in hunting scenes and dog portraits under Napoleon III's reign, for whom he painted a large number of animal subjects (currently housed in the Louvre, Paris). The Emperor was particularly keen on hunting, which had been the royal activity par excellence. During the Second Empire, Napoleon III even recreated the office of grand veneur and posts for officers of the hunt. These hunts usually took place in the forest of Compiègne, near Fontainebleau. Two hunting scenes by Jadin are still in situ in the castle of Chambord.
In addition to represent the most beautiful hunting dogs, greyhounds were also usually associated with the aristocracy. In 17th-century Dutch portraiture for instance, they were often portrayed next to the sitter in order to enhance their status.
Although Jadin's subject matter was most likely influenced by Napoleon III's love for hunting. French artists regained interest for animal painting during the 19th century while the society saw the gradual development of industrialisation. On one hand Romantic artists such as Théodore Géricault and Eugène Delacroix were among European artists who gave new vigour to hunting and racing themes; on the other, Realist painters such as Rosa Bonheur produced scenes that often recall Dutch and Flemish masters of the 17th century.

Historical context note

19th-century French art is marked by a succession of movements based on a more or less close relationship with nature. At the beginning of the century, Romantic artists were fascinated by nature they interpreted as a mirror of the mind. They investigated human nature and personality, the folk culture, the national and ethnic origins, the medieval era, the exotic, the remote, the mysterious and the occult. This movement was heralded in France by such painter as Eugène Delacroix (1798-1863). In its opposition to academic art and its demand for a modern style Realism continued the aims of the Romantics. They assumed that reality could be perceived without distortion or idealization, and sought after a mean to combine the perception of the individual with objectivity. This reaction in French painting against the Grand Manner is well represented by Gustave Courbet (1819-1877) who wrote a 'Manifesto of Realism', entitled Le Réalisme published in Paris in 1855. These ideas were challenged by the group of the Barbizon painters, who formed a recognizable school from the early 1830s to the 1870s and developed a free, broad and rough technique. They were mainly concerned by landscape painting and the rendering of light. The works of Narcisse Virgile Diaz de la Peña (1807-1876), Jules Dupré (1811-1889), Théodore Rousseau (1812-1867), Constant Troyon (1810-1865) and Jean-François Millet (1814-1875) anticipate somehow the plein-air landscapes of the Impressionists.

Descriptive line

Oil painting on canvas, 'Two Greyhounds', Louis Godefroy Jadin, 1850

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Kauffmann, C.M. Catalogue of Foreign Paintings, II. 1800-1900 , London: Victoria and Albert Museum, 1973, p. 54, cat. no. 117.
U. Thieme and F. Becker, Allgemeines Lexikon der Bildenden Künstler, 1908-50, xviii, 1925, p. 321.
E. Benezit, Dictionary of artists, Paris, 2006 (reprint).

Labels and date

'American and European Art and Design 1800-1900'

Jadin, who exhibited at the Paris Salon from 1831, specialised in hunting scenes and was famed for his portraits of dogs. Napoleon III dubbed him Peintre de la venerie imperiale. [1987-2006]


Oil paint; Canvas


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Greyhound; Dog (animal)




Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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