It was not uncommon for wealthy art patrons to commission portraits of their pets. This painting by Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873) was commissioned to paint the pets of sixteen-year-old Prince George of Cambridge around 1834. At the time, many thought Prince George might succeed his uncle King William IV, who had no children of his own, to the throne. Normally the throne was inherited by the nearest male relative but in 1837 it was his cousin Princess Victoria of Kent who would become Queen.
This oil on canvas painting measures 40 x 49 1/2 inches. The Prince’s favorites included a beautiful gray Arabian stallion names Selim. Nelson, the Prince’s Newfoundland is holding a riding crop in his mouth. The King Charles was named Flora. And look carefully and you’ll see his hooded peregrine falcons.