Sheep and a Collie by Richard Ansdell, RA (1815–1885). 1876. Oil on canvas. 31.8 x 59.7 cm. Atkinson Art Gallery, Southport, Merseyside. Accession no. SOPAG:17. Bequeathed by Miss Ball, 1879. Despite its substantial size, thick coat and impressive horns, the ram here is held in check by the collie. The smaller sheep may look to her companion for protection, but the feisty little sheepdog has both its charges well under control. The rocky outcrops make a perfect foreground, and increase the mild sense of tension here.

Image download, text and formatting by Jacqueline Banerjee, with thanks to the Atkinson Gallery for allowing the image to be used via ArtUK on the CC BY-NC-SA (Creative Commons-NonCommercial-ShareAlike) licence. [Click on the image to enlarge it.]

Created 30 August 2018