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DICKSEE, Herbert Thomas (British, 1862-1942), "A Pack of Wolves Howling at the Moon"

DICKSEE, Herbert Thomas (British, 1862-1942), "A Pack of Wolves Howling at the Moon"


Charcoal and gouache on paper

18 ½ x 27 ¼ inches visible; 37 ½ x 29 ½ inches framed.

Initialed “HD” lower left


This powerfully rendered scene shows a pack of wolves bathed in moonlight at the edge of a cliff. Dicksee is particularly skilled at conveying the beauty of the wilderness and the rich psychology of the animals that roam its depths. Suffused throughout the scene is a sense of intense emotional and psychic energy. The leader of the pack stands slightly apart at the fore, staring stoically out into the distance, while the rest of the wolves huddle restlessly behind, their eyes gleaming, teeth bared, and backs arched, poised for attack. Their expressions range from hunger, to glee, to longing.

The skillful blend of charcoal and gouache give the moonlit landscape a silvery glow, while the rough and rapid charcoal marks and deep blue highlights of the wolves give the animals a wild and windswept look, adding rich texture and dimensionality to their musculature and fur.

Herbert T. Dicksee, the English painter, etcher and mezzotint engraver, became known particularly for his portrayal of animal subjects, namely lions and dogs. His works were executed primarily from life, and he kept many pets for inspiration. Prints and etchings of his best-known paintings were widely distributed by publishers such as Klackner of London, and his work is popular today among collectors and animal enthusiasts.

He came from a family of creatives. His father was the artist John Robert Dicksee (1817-1905). John's brother Thomas Francis (1819-1895), also a painter, was the father of Sir Frank Dicksee (1853-1928), president of the Royal Academy from 1924 until his death and Margaret Isabel Dicksee, also a painter.

Herbert Thomas studied art at the Slade School, where he won medals for painting and drawing from life and also the Slade Scholarship. In 1885 he exhibited at the Royal Academy and was also elected to be a member of the Royal Society of Painter-Etchers and Engravers (R.E.). Additionally he was a drawing master at the City of London School and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painters and Etchers and the London Zoo.

You are warmly invited to visit our gallery at 1016 Madison Avenue in New York City to view this work whenever it might be convenient. It is our intention to have highly competitive prices. Your thoughts are welcome.

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