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Comical Dogs

  • Object:

    Oil painting

  • Place of origin:

    Great Britain (painted)

  • Date:

    1836 (painted)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Landseer, Edwin Henry (Sir), born 1802 - died 1873 (artist)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    oil on panel

  • Credit Line:

    Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

One of these wire-haired terriers has a ram's horn snuff container and wears a Scottish bonnet, while the other has a clay pipe in its mouth and wears a lady's cap. A critic observed that the artist 'gives them all the intelligence of the canine nature' but 'never plays with the falsehood of a fanciful or humanised expression'.

Physical description

'Comical Dogs', oil on panel, depicting two dogs, one wearing a white bonnet appears to smoke a pipe and sits back on its hind legs with both front paws up, the other dog is wearing a Scottish tam on his head.

Place of Origin

Great Britain (painted)


1836 (painted)


Landseer, Edwin Henry (Sir), born 1802 - died 1873 (artist)

Materials and Techniques

oil on panel


Height: 69.8 cm estimate, Width: 76.2 cm estimate, Depth: 7.2 cm framed, Height: 101.3 cm framed, Width: 107.3 cm framed, :

Object history note

Given by John Sheepshanks, 1857

Descriptive line

Oil painting entitled 'Comical Dogs' by Sir Edwin Landseer. Great Britain, 1836.

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

Richard Ormond, Monarch of the Glen: Landseer in the Highlands. Edinburgh: National Galleries of Scotland, 2005.
Catalogue of British Oil Paintings 1820-1860, Ronald Parkinson, Victoria and Albert Museum, London: HMSO, 1990, p. 149
Julius Bryant, ed. Art and Design for All. The Victoria and Albert Museum London: V&A Publishing, 2011. ISBN: 9781851776665.
Tom Ewart, Stephan Brakensiek ... [et al.] eds. Les animaux dans l'art Luxembourg : Villa Vauban, c2013. Description: 96 p. : col. ill., ports. ; 30 cm. ISBN: 9782919878024

Labels and date

Landseer often portrayed Highland 'types', and in Comical Dogs this interest in the Scottish character is given an anthropomorphic dimension. The dogs are dressed up as a Scottish Darby and Joan. The terrier in the tam o'shanter fixes us with a keenly appraising gaze while his 'wife', wearing a lady's bonnet, sucks philosophically on her clay pipe. [24/07/2008]


Oil paint; Panel


Oil painting

Subjects depicted

Dogs (animals); Pipes (smoking equipment); Humour; Hats; Parody; Anthropomorphism; Smoking


Paintings; Anthropomorphism; Images Online; Smoking accessories; Scotland


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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