Owners' obsession with portraits of their animals ["Fido as Fine Art" Oct. 17] is not just a current phenomenon. George Stubbs painted racehorses for their aristocratic owners in 18th century England. Edwin Henry Landseer's portraits of dogs won him the patronage of Queen Victoria to paint her royal pet dogs and birds, and numerous artists have made a living painting hunting dogs to prize cattle for their owners. Though few "animal painters" have received recognition from art historians portraits for proud animal owners have long been a lucrative market for fine artists in both Europe and America.
Francis Rexford Cooley
Dean of the College, Paier College of Art, Hamden