Dog 'in a humble and affectionate frame of mind,' Study for Darwin’s Expression of the Emotions of Man and Animals, 1872, c. 1871–72
Pen and ink and wash, heightened with white, on grey paper
A number of Riviere’s letters to Darwin, written while he was working on the illustrations for Expression of the Emotions of Man and Animals, are of great interest. They reveal that he often brought into play his own observations of dogs’ behaviour, even when they conflicted with Darwin’s preconceptions. They also discussed the difficulties of depicting animals’ expressions, which were too fleeting to be registered by cameras of the 1870s.
Riviere’s studies for Expression are closely comparable with his story-telling pictures, in which the emotional bond between animals and humans was all-important.
Darwin Papers, Cambridge University Library.