Miss Bowles and her Dog

During the reign of George III  in England Sir Joshua Reynolds (1723-1792) became a supreme portrait painter. His grand style was unmannered, but full of human values. He infused his portraiture with sophistication, learnedness and dignity and his pictures proved popular worldwide. When he had to paint a child, he made the picture into more than a mere portrait by carefully choosing his setting. Miss Bowles with her dog depicts the touching love of the little girl for her pet. To gain the child’s confidence he visited the house to meet her. He sat beside her at dinner amusing her with stories and tricks so that she thought him the most charming man in the world. He made her look at something distant and stole her plate; then pretended to look for it; he contrived it should come back to her without her knowing how. The next day, delighted to be taken to his house, she sat down with an expression full of glee that once caught, he never lost.

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