Sir Edwin Landseer
The Old Shepherd's Chief Mourner
Museum no. FA 93
Dogs have been used to herd sheep in Britain and other countries for centuries. Many breeds of working dog were originally used but many of these have now become extinct. The Border Collie breed has descended from these working dogs and is renowned for its obedience and hard-working nature. This painting illustrates the Victorian love of dogs for their faithfulness and devotion to their owners and their status as 'man's best friend', as emphasised in the title of the work - the dog is the shepherd's most devoted companion.