Maud Earl (American/British, 1943)


Maud Earl was the only daughter of the London sporting and animal painter George Earl (fl.1886-1883) and his first wife, Alice Beaumont Rawlins. Her uncle, Thomas Earl, was also a talented painter of horses and other animals. Maud was taught by her father and at the Royal Female School of Art, where she quickly developed her natural talent for capturing the true character of her canine subjects. Her half-brother Percy was also a painter of horses and purebred dogs.
She exhibited regularly in England and Europe and was a prolific and much sought after artist who painted many of the important dogs of the day, including those belonging to the Royal Family (she painted dogs belonging to Queen Victoria and Edward VII), and important dog fanciers. Her works were extremely popular with the public for whom images of the dog were a significant reflection of their affection for the animal. Purebred dogs in late 19th century England were extraordinarily popular as new breeds were imported and established, and Maud Earl further reinforced their importance by completing their portraits in oils. In 1897 she had an exhibition in which she showed paintings of forty-eight varieties.
By 1916 she had received international recognition with several solo exhibitions, and her work was widely reproduced both in books and print form. Twelve of her compositions were engraved in 1908 for The Sportsman’s Year. Her work may be loosely divided into four styles, the naturalistic, richly painted portraits of dogs from 1880 to 1900; a highly finished, but looser, more sketchy style from 1900 to 1915; what she referred to as her oriental style from about 1916 to the 1920s, after she emigrated to the United States, and her late rather stylized portraits of dogs during the 1930s in America. It was during her early years in America that she painted her little-known but elegant paintings of birds, which she considered some of her best work.
Maud Earl exhibited at the Royal Academy 1884-1901 and at the Royal Society of British Artists, Suffolk Street.