Saturday 30 May 2015

The St. Bernard Puppy of Southport

A tiny little girl sits on an seemingly enormous cushion with her St Bernard Puppy in this portrait from the 1880s. Which one of them is the cutest is difficult to decide. Perhaps the proportions of this young pup, with his huge, chunky paws will sway your decision!

The photographer Lambert Partington was born in Lancashire, son of John & Harriet in 1840. He married Mary Hannah in 1875 and they had three children - Edith Emily (born about 1878), Lilian (born about 1879) and Harriett (born 1884). In their early twenties whilst still living at home the two eldest sisters worked as photographic assistants for their father.

The Studio where the photograph was taken on Bath Street, was in operation under the Partington name from 1871 to 1921

This pup looks like he just stepped out from one of Dutch artist Otto Eerelman's 19th century dog portraits. Just like Saint-Bernard Puppies painted in 1904, shown below.

Eerelman had a real talent in rendering the lighthearted, cheerful natures of these pups, with their soft fur, in just a few simple brushstrokes.