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Portrait of a West-highland Terrier
Canvas, 38,5 x 32 cm
Remains of a signature, lower right
With (adjusted) antique 18th century frame
Price: € 1,950
Te Gempt was a beloved animal painter, notably of dogs, as is the case with this charming painting of a shrewd West-Highland Terrier.
Bernard, son of a preacher, first wanted to teach religion, then a merchant, but eventually his talent led him to become a painter. This Dutch artist was born in Wijchen on 25 april 1826, he died in Amsterdam on 4 januari 1879. He studied under J.F. Christ, a local painter in Nijmegen, later from Nicolaas Pieneman in Amsterdam.
He made a tour through Europe that led him to Belgium, France, Switserland and Italy. From ca 1846 on Te Gempt worked in Amsterdam. He became a member of The Royal Amsterdam Academy in 1850 and exhibited in that city and in The Hague from 1846 to 1878. In the last years of his life Te Gempt suffered from severe depression and he would eventually commit suicide.
In the 19th century the position of the dog more and more shifted from that of a utilitarian animal, used for hunting, transportation or as a guard dog, into that of a pet- or companion animal, kept at home. In the second half of the 19th century specialist painters such as Henriëtte Ronner, Conradijn Cunaeus and Bernard te Gempt, developed the animal painting into a separate genre where animals were accurately portrayed and sometimes befitted with human emotions and traits.
Work of this artist can be found in the collections of the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam Museum, -University of Amsterdam, Bisdom van Vliet Museum in Haasdrecht and in the collection of former Fodor Museum in Amsterdam.