A sagacious dog

Harrison Weir

1892

Wood engraving; engraved by J. Greenaway

6 1/8 x 5 1/8 inches

Illustration for Stories of the Sagacity of Animals, by W. H. G.Kingston, pictorial frontispiece.

A clever dog taking a horse back to its owner after it has run off: anthropomorphism informed with the idea that animals have a personal morality. One of numerous images of morally-aware creatures in Weir’s art, here prefiguring the imagery of Lassie in Hollywood films of the nineteen forties and fifties. Note the facial expressions and exchange of glances between the animals, which changes them into humans in animal guise.

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Scanned image and text by Simon Cooke

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