Archive for the Charles Burton Barber RA Category

Queen V, Charles Burton Barber RA, and the cult of the pug-dog

Posted in 19th Century, Charles Burton Barber RA, Pug Rescue, Pugs, Queen Victoria on June 3, 2011 by babylonbaroque

Playing upon the theme of my last post, I thought I would explore further the Victorian cult of domesticity; most particularly all things canine.

As many of my readers know, I am unabashedly loony for dogs, I have four, would love more if the landlord would allow. The dear late Queen ( and the current ) share this passion, as did  (do) her subjects.

First stumbling upon a pug-dog, in the guise of a door stop in my Nana’s Bucks County antique shop, I was  immediately enchanted; the fascination for the breed hasn’t waned.

I blame part of my love for the breed on Her Majesty.

Although not a pug, this is a favorite image of the Queen.

after Sir William Newzam Prior Nicholson


colored woodcut

National Portrait Gallery

Part of the campaign to secure popularity for the monarchy and the Queen in particular was to stress domesticity, adding a pup or two (or four) to the vignette was of course in order.

Domestic Life of the Royal Family


National Portrait Gallery

There  were many painters of hounds, Maud Earl amongst them.

Maud Earl, 1864-1943

Although there were plenty of painters willing to capture the charms of our canine chums, none did so as effectively as Charles Burton Barber.

Charles Burton Barber

b. 1845

d. 1894

Having studied at the Royal Academy at eighteen, and exhibiting there from 1866, Barber caught the eye of the Queen, commissions ensued.

Charles Burton Barber, for the Queen



The Royal Collection

By no means limited to painting pug-dogs, I of course find myself drawn to the few well known, very sentimental depictions of the breed.

Blonde and Brunette

Barber totally captures the seductive charm of the breed, this little pup is shamelessly flirting with the viewer.

I know this behavior well.

A Monster


Again, Barber captures the downward tail, ordinarily curled in a double loop, terribly charming.

There are of course other 19th century depictions of the breed, I’m afraid I cannot identify the artist or the  title of the work that follows; I “swiped” them long ago and did not make note of the title. If you happen to have info please forward it to me.

Identified or not, they are very charming .

ca. 1915

In closing I risk the wrath of my own puglets of I fail to include them in this post.

I appreciate your indulgence.


Rose in background, Viola in the fore.

Viola left, Rose right.

I appreciate your patience, this is quite a “light weight” post, The World’s Oldest Student is mired in finals week.

I hope to improve my offerings during summer break,

Until then,

Respectfully submitted,

Babylon Baroque