The old Shepherd’s dog

Harrison Weir

1861

Wood engraving; engraved by J. Greenaway.

4¾ x 4 inches

Illustration for The Poetry of Nature, selected and illustrated by Harrison Weir, p.82.

A sentimental image of the dog as Man’s Friend, heavy with signs of domesticity such as the empty shoes and the discarded pipe. The illustration calculatedly recalls Edwin Landseer’s The Old Shepherd’s Chief Mourner (1837), one of Ruskin’s favourites; and anticipates the sentimentality of Lassie, the remarkable dog of Hollywood films of the nineteen forties.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke

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