Marco says: so after the pier we then went for a walk. Lots of dogs and their owners doing the same thing.
M and J liked this view of Ballard Down and Old Harry Rocks.
J says this was painted by Mark Gertler in 1916 when he was staying at Peverill House in Swanage.
It’s displayed as part of the Swanage Seen Art trail and we read later that Gertler had written in a letter from Peverill House ‘From every window one could paint a splendid picture,’ though he doesn’t seem to have looked out of a window overlooking the pier!
The original Swanage Pier was completed in 1861, and was busy in the shipment of timber, coal, stone and fish. The newer pier built in 1895 was designed for passenger steamers. By the time of Gertler’s painting, it had been established for over twenty years. It may have been difficult for him to ignore; this photograph of the same view clearly includes the pier.
Marco says: I think you’re being a little harsh on Gertler, J. As a dog friendly artist I think he rates highly. Look at this painting.
J says: Marco, you might be right. This painting has a lovely history. Around the same time as he painted Ballard Down in Swanage, Gertler was invited to stay with the author and poet Gilbert Cannan and his wife at their converted Mill House in Cholesbury, Hertfordshire. Gertler painted Gilbert Cannan at his Mill, during visits. The large black and white dog near Cannon’s left hand originally belonged to J M Barrie who used him as the model for 'Nana' in Peter Pan.
But the story doesn’t end there. In 1929, with the popularity of both the play and the novel firmly established, Barrie unexpectedly and generously gifted his copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital, so that the Hospital could but land to build a new wing.
Marco says: Not sure the cartoon Nana is exactly like the original dog?
This is more like it! Here is Bowdie, making his theatrical debut in 2014 playing Nana. Bowdie, is a rescued gray Poodle mix whose pet parents happen to be theatrical animal trainers Bill and Dorothy Berloni.
Brilliant, wish I could do that!
Copyright for Gilbert Cannan at his Mill: The Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology