Considering how prolific and how well-known he was as a painter of dogs and cats, we know very little of this artist, who does not appear to have exhibited. Apparently, his reputation spread widely enough amongst pet owners that he was able to support himself without doing so.
Aistrop is known to have painted between the years 1880 and 1920. That his paintings often sell in the mid-four figures at auction attests that he is still well-regarded. An illustration of a portrait of a bulldog appears in William Secord’s reference, “Dog Painting: 1840-1940.”
Aistrop painted in a similar style to animal artists Arthur Wardle and John Alfred Wheeler. His skill in painting animals earned him many commissions from pet owners and dog breeders. Many of his works were head studies and portraits, often produced on a small scale.
I have my favorite British sporting artists, and Aistrop has always been one of them. He never fails to show his subjects in an endearing fashion. His terriers will have soulful eyes, beautiful noses and a great rough coats. His brush strokes are often choppy, reflecting the true character of the dog. He often painted in pairs and sets of four.
This terrier is typical of Aistrop’s style. The dog’s head is finely detailed with soft, warm brown eyes accompanied by long hairs above the eyes, a large black nose, and a wonderfully detailed muzzle. the terrier sports a leather collar with studs.
This portrait is housed in its original late-19th century wood and gesso frame with a very wide, flat gilded slip. The frame suits the painting well.
The painting was originally under glass, so it was in excellent condition before I had it professionally cleaned. The original frame is in excellent antique condition.
It measures 15-3/4 inches square, including the frame.