Black and tan head of sheep dog in profile facing right margin.
LL red brush point Flora Scales 8/9/1908
Verso label Winsor & Newton, England, partly legible
This painting may be painted over an earlier work due to visible textured brush marks, more than a gesso coat might be expected to show, which do not match the current image.
The sheep dog, which is thought to have belonged to the owner's great grandparents, was probably painted by Scales as a gift for the family, possibly before she left to study at the W. Frank Calderon School of Animal Painting, London, England, which Scales attended 1908-1912.
Another possibility is that Scales painted the work during her time at the Calderon School and gave it to the family on her return to New Zealand in 1912.
Possibly painted over a previous work. Correspondence S. Bidwill to B. de Lange, 10.06.2021: “I think it is because you can see ridges of other oil paint brush marks in places in contrast to the current image. I used to paint in oils so I recognised the old brush marks immediately. It’s more texture than visual so not easy to photograph. I would imagine if it was just under painting for a base colour it wouldn’t be so textured, usually that is just thinned down paint to cover the background quickly.”