History was made with an iconic painting in 1898, and “His Master’s Voice” features a dog named Nipper.
It’s considered as a landmark painting, a dog, more like a terrier mix, glancing at a gramophone. His head appears tilted.
The record says the name came into existence because of the dog’s unnatural ability to greet strangers. People normally name a dog before identifying a trait, or most of the dogs would be named Humpers and Roarers.
Now, The History Behind…
Nipper was owned by Mark Barraud, a set designer working at a London theater. Mark passed away in 1887 and Nipper now started to live with Francis, Mark’s brother, a painter.
The first painting featuring the dog, Nipper, was titled “Dog looking at and listening to a Phonograph.” Edison cylinder player was seen in the painting.
Francis offered this painting to the Edison company for advertisements.
The company declined the offer saying, “Dogs don’t listen to Phonographs.”
Francis contacted the Gramophone Co. and they offered to purchase it but on one condition. The painting should show Gramophone disks and not cylinders.
Within the next decade or so, the RCA and the Gramophone in America and England became famous respectively. Nipper became a known face in Europe as well as in the United States.
Nipper, who actually lived until an age of 11 years, passed away in 1895 itself. He was then captured by Francis in his famous painting.
Nipper is buried in London and at present, a bank graces the site. A plaque mentions Nipper’s final resting place and also the street is named Nipper Alley.
Nipper’s rise to fame is well justified analyzing the circumstances around the iconic painting.
When Francis painted him, he was long gone. Mark had recorded his voice on cylinders and Francis acquired this after his brother’s death.
In the painting, Nipper was actually listening to his master, Mark’s voice.
That might justify the dog’s puzzled look with a tilted head.
Do dogs love ghosts? Only Nipper can answer.
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