Size: 150mm x 150mm
Original Painting Medium: Pastel
The Leonberger breed was established by the German breeder Heinrich Essig in 1846, in Leonberg, a small suburb outside Stuttgart, west Germany. As the the towns crest was a lion, Heinrich Essig decided to develop a breed of lion-like dog. To achieve this, it is believed he crossed the St. Bernard, the Pyrenean Mountain and the Newfoundland dog to produce the large and lively breed known today as the Leonberger. The first breed club was formed in 1895 along with the breed standard. The official standard was set in 1949.
Like many German breeds, the Leonberger was affected badly during both World Wars and almost died out. Thankfully, due to its attentiveness and sweet expression, today it is gaining in numbers and popularity.
The Leonberger is a large, muscular, elegant dog, adult height 30-31 inches (76-80cm) and weighing more than 88 pounds (40kg). Its coat is rough and long, but not shaggy. The Leonberger has a lively nature and is steady, affectionate and alert. It is an outstanding water rescue dog and has a waterproof coat, webs between its toes and like the Newfoundland, is an excellent swimmer.
I have always appreciated the larger breeds of dogs and lived for fourteen very happy years with a lovely Newfoundland called Orca. During the mid 1980's I was invited to a dog show in Basingstoke, Hampshire. Many owners were exhibiting a variety of large breeds including Great Danes, Bernese Mountain dogs and Leonbergers. I knew then that that one day I would like to have a Leo companion and in 2003, my wish came true.
Handsome, calm and confident, this Leo inspired me to paint him. Working from sketches and photographs taken at the dog show; I portrayed this my first Leonberger pastel dog portrait. I have since been commissioned by another lovely Leo owner and now have available, a full-body portrait fine art print of my second Leonberger artwork.