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Ref TF2 Dignity and Impudence
A fine quality reverse carved intaglio rock crystal set to a high carat gold brooch, circa 1850. The subject is 'Dignity and Impudence', based on the 1839 painting by Sir Henry Landseer.
of the 1830's were amongst his most celebrated works and
Dignity and Impudence
was one of the most popular. This reverse crystal carving captures Landseer's witty contrast of the scale and character of a bloodhound called Grafton and a West Highland terrier called Scratch.
It parodies the Dutch portrait tradition, where the subject is framed by a window, with an arm or hand extending over the edge, just as the bloodhound's paw hangs over the edge of the kennel. It also draws attention to the dogs' 'human' characteristics : the soulful look and gentle dignity of the bloodhound and the mischievous expression of the small terrier. Moreover, the larger dog is painted in smooth, variegated textures, while the smaller dog comes to life with a few jabbing and expressive brushstrokes. The technique of reverse intaglio crystal carving required great skill, first carving out a domed natural rock crystal in intaglio and then painting the carving in fine detail. The effect achieved is photo-realistic. The brooch measures 1 and 1/8 inches by 1 and 1/8 inches and is technically adept and immaculate.
Landseer's 'Dignity and Impudence'
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