Works by Edward Armfield (1817-1896) have long been sought for his depictions of terriers and spaniels either at work chasing down rabbits in the field or rats in barns, or, as in this case, defending their food bowls. His style is similar to that of George Armfield (1820-1893), also known for dog paintings, and to whom he is thought to have been related. Some stories have it, in fact, that George went to court to prevent Edward from using his signature. Edward Armfield paintings can be found in British museums and art galleries. His paintings have sold for up to $16,000 at auction (this from my 17-year-old copy of “Davenport’s Art Reference and Price Guide”).
Though typical of his usual work, this is an example of the artist at his prime. The dogs are all finely painted in great detail and the composition is perfect. The old story of hierarchy among dogs, at least while the master is away, gets an excellent treatment here.
The artist’s use of light is magical, imbuing the scene with a mystery and importance not often seen or felt. We are drawn into it, wondering what will happen next. This is indeed one of Armfield’s better portrayals of dogs in their everyday lives. It is signed, “E. Armfield,” in the lower right corner.
It is housed in its original wood and gesso frame. The frame is a traditional one that Armfield preferred for many of his paintings and suits this one well.
I have the painting professionally restored, so it is in excellent, ready-to-hang condition. I have also had the frame professionally restored as well.
This masterful painting would be a highlight of any room.
It measures 23-3/4 inches wide by 19-3/4 inches high, including the frame.