Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Home Beautiful: “Dot and Cairnach, Skye Terriers” by Otto Weber, 1874

Dot and Cairnach, Skye Terriers
Otto Weber, 1874
The Royal Collection

Royal Academician Otto Weber was appointed portrait painter to The Royal Family in the 1870’s by Queen Victoria. Being as Victoria considered the royal pets to be as much a part of the family as anyone else, she commissioned Weber to paint portraits of her dogs, too.

This 1874 portrait shows two Skye Terriers who lived amongst the other dogs in the royal household. Known as Dot and Cairnach, these spirited companions were known to frolic through the corridors in typical terrier fashion. This wasn’t Cairnach’s first time posing for a portrait. He had previously been painted by Sir Edwin Landseer on several occasions and served as a great source of inspiration for the artist who used the terrier’s visage in quite a few masterpieces.

Curiously, another of Landseer's portraits is of a dog also called Cairnach.  This one dates to 1842.  This handsome pup, who was honored later by the name given to the Skye, was a Maltese Terrier.    The 1842 portrait roundel was a Christmas gift to Queen Victoria from Prince Albert.

Sir Edwin Landseer, 1842
Crown Copyright
The Royal Collection
Image Courtesy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

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