Sporting artist Davis painted several portraits of greyhounds. His 'Portrait of a Russian Greyhound, the Property of Lord Rivers' was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1816. Two years later he exhibited 'Susan, Beauty, and Bishop, favourite Greyhounds Belonging to Sir C. Bamfylde, Esq.' and also 'Leviathan, Looby, and Genet, favourite Greyhounds, Belonging to D. Jones Long, Esq.' Further examples were sold through Christie’s, New York, in 1982; Christie’s, South Kensington, in 1984; and Mellors & Kirk Auctioneers, Nottingham, in 2010. The name and owner of the greyhound depicted here is currently unknown.
William Henry Davis was born in Watford, Hertfordshire, and was based in Chelsea for much of his career. In 1789 his father became a huntsman to King George III. His brothers were: artist and Master of the Royal Buckhounds Charles Davis and landscape and animal painter Richard Barrett Davis. William studied landscape painting in Rome, but later turned to sporting and Shakespearian themes. He exhibited at the Royal Academy, British Institution and Society of British Artists from 1803 to 1849. He was appointed animal painter to William IV in 1837 and to Queen Victoria in 1839. Many of his works are commissioned horse and livestock portraits. Several examples of these are at Attingham Park in Shropshire, seat of the Barons Berwick.
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