Arthur Wardle (1864 – 1949) is one of the most widely-known English dog painters of the 19th and 20th Centuries.
Born in London, aged just sixteen Wardle had a piece displayed at the Royal Academy. His first exhibit was a study of cattle by the River Thames, leading to a lifelong interest in painting animals. In 1880 Wardle lived in Oakley Square,Camden, but artistic success enabled him to move to the more upmarket 34 Alma Square in St John’s Wood by 1892. Wardle was prolific and up until 1936 he exhibited more than 100 works at the Royal Academy, as well as the Society of British Artists at Suffolk Street.
He painted a variety of animal subjects with equal skill,but his work is generally divided into two categories: wild animals and dogs, and he is particularly known for his paintings of terriers, although he probably painted every breed of purebred dog that existed during his day. Wardle evidently had little formal training but consummate natural talent.
He is considered equally proficient in oils, watercolours and pastels. Wardle painted what is probably the best known painting of the fox terrier in its modern form, The Totteridge XI. The painting was commissioned by famed smooth fox terrier breeder Francis Redmond. Wardle painted a number of Redmond’s dogs. The original is in the gallery of The Kennel Club in London. Wardle’s work has been widely reproduced.