Cracker, the Bull Terrier, was one of Aldin's very favorites. Cracker and Mickey, the Irish Wolfhound, were great friends and Aldin describes them helping each other according to their talents. Cracker, with his powerful jaws, would crack bones for Mickey and Mickey would use his height to reach things they wanted.
From a book entitled The Artist's Models 1930, which was a collection of some of the commissioned portraits of dogs that Aldin had done over the years. People would leave their dogs with Aldin for a while, in which time they became part of the household and gave Aldin an opportunity to study them and thereby create portraits which winningly reflected their personalities. The excellence of these portraits made Aldin much in demand as a pet portraitist.
Cecil Aldin (1870-1935) was a prolific English artist and illustrator. While living in London, he became friends with the Beggarstaff Brothers (William Nicholson and James Pryde), with John Hassall, Phil May and Dudley Hardy, and their influence on his work was great. Aldin, however, developed his own style and was particularly skillful at conveying the humor, love and antics of the dogs and other animal friends. He did a great deal of advertising work, including posters, for such companies as Bovril, Coleman and Cadbury's. Royal Doulton, the china manufacturer, produced about sixty items with Aldin's art between 1910 and 1939. The obituary in The London Times asserted that there never yet has been a painter of dogs fit to hold a candle to him.
Cecil Aldin has always been a favorite of ours here at Green Tiger Press, and we have laughed at his wonderful illustrations and reproduced many of them over the years.