Dogs in Australian Art – Book

Snip20171214_9I heard about this book so while killing time in the city the other day I had a good look at it in the library.

I enjoyed the art work but the format of the book is quite formulaic. The author, Steven Miller has made a Table of Contents list of the various dog breeds. It seems once he made the list he then searched for art work to put on each two page spread describing what he found.  He had a great deal of success with most pages but a few of the pages I thought were scraping the bottom of the barrel.

While there are a lot of dogs in Australian art (it seems), there does not seem to be enough to do justice to every specific breed of dog.  If you love dogs, as we do in this household, then you will enjoy the vast majority of the art samples in this book.

Table of Contents

The information about the art work displayed is a good overview.

I spent over an hour in the library looking at the pictures and reading a bit of the comments about each breed and the art information. Personally I didn’t love it enough to take it home and keep it for another three weeks.  It would be a nice general gift for the hard to buy for dog lover in your life.  Just be prepared for a few less than ideal examples.  I include some of the pages below. You can make up your own mind. I do respect that taste in art is very specific and people seldom agree about what is lovely and what is not.  Worth looking at.

Enjoyed the old book plates


Can’t remember breed but loved this guy.




Chow Chow
Basset Hounds

Apologies for not identifying artists. I didn’t have enough time to compile all the information on the day. All of the information is in the book. I just wanted to give you an overview of the book. 



13 thoughts on “Dogs in Australian Art – Book

  1. One of the most popular talks that we give in the gallery where I volunteer is on the dogs in our works of art. What I really like is that it is very clear that some of them are the artist’s own dogs because they turn up in more than one of their paintings. The sixteenth century Italian, Bassano, had a couple of clearly much loved scruffy mongrels that keep making an appearance and the Dutch seventeenth century painter Mattias Stom has a hound of some sort that comes in over and over again.


    1. It is an area of interest in the art world I haven’t really thought about much. When we were in a large museum in Madrid a few years ago I specifically looked for dogs in art. The museum was so large and there was so much art I needed a focus to concentrate on so I chose dogs. I was surprised at how many of them there were and was able to take photos of most of them. ( A museum where non flash photography was allowed)


    1. I was trying to remember what blogger had reviewed this book in more detail than I did. It was you!! I re-read it. Your review is much more detailed. I have decided I am not a book reviewer but more a book sharer. I have always had mixed breed, dog’s home dogs, so these pedigree books do annoy me at times but I did like most of the art very much.

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      1. Looks like an enjoyable book to flip through but I don’t imagine I’d buy it. I’m not much into coffee table or big illustrated books these days, albeit I love dogs.

        Good for you re mixed breeds. I have always had pedigree, mainly because as an allergic person I need to know exactly what I’m getting. Unfortunately it seems that I’m becoming more sensitive to dogs so we may not get another one – but I’m not totally giving up yet. It breaks my heart not to have a dog.


        1. I don’t buy coffee table type books either. I don’t have a coffee table. 🙂 I couldn’t live without a dog. There are some breeds like poodles and labradoodles etc that when hair kept short don’t shed at all. You might have to learn to love a whole new breed. My dogs are the only thing that keep my mental health in check. 🙂


          1. Our last was a poodle Pam for the very reason that they are low allergy and she was but not totally. Our previous was an Airedale again for non/shedding hair and again only partly successful. My issue is eczema and is more about contact. PS I was not keen on a poodle but in desperation that’s what we decided and now I’d have a poodle anytime. She was beautiful…but at times she like the Airedale woild aer my skin off frightfully. I can’t explain the physical distressed of it.


              1. I’m just getting to the stage where I don’t touch any dog I see, which is not how I used to be. It’s embarrassing (as well as sad) saying I love dogs and then not touching them.


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