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George Armfield, also known as George Armfield Smith was a London painter who specialised in paintings of dogs, especially terriers chasing birds, cats or mice and spaniels flushing ducks. Dogs had long been used for sports other than fighting and for centuries had been used to control vermin. The Victorian era was the age of pet portraits, with the most important influence on their popularity being Queen Victoria who owned an extensive number of dog breeds including terriers. This created a demand for portraits of dogs and artists such as Armfield found themselves in great demand. He exhibited under the name of G A Smith between 1830 and 1839, but then used the name George Armfield thereafter. He exhibited 32 works at the Royal Academy between 1840 – 1862 and regularly exhibited at the British Institute as well as at the Suffolk Street galleries until 1876.
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