Maud Alice Earl (1863/4-1943) was an eminent British-American painter of dogs. Her father George Earl, her uncle Thomas Earl and her half brother Percy Earl were also animal painters of note, though Maud became the most successful and is today the best remembered. George Earl, an avid sportsman and noted sporting painter, was his daughter’s first teacher and had his daughter study the anatomy of her subjects, drawing dog, horse and human skeletons to improve her skill. She credited her father’s instruction and insistence on anatomical accuracy with giving her ability that set her apart from other dog painters. She later studied at what was then the Royal Female School of Art, now part of the Central School of Art. Much of her painting exhibits the natural style characteristic of the Earls’s work, although she later became equally famous for more studied portraits, especially of purebred dogs.
Earl became famous during the Victorian era, a time when women were not expected to make their living at painting. Nevertheless, she developed a select clientele, including dog enthusiasts Kathleen, the Duchess of Newcastle, and many members of the royal family, including Queen Victoria. One of her famous paintings is of Edward VII’s fox terrier “Caesar”, mourning his master.
Although her work was extremely well commissioned and widely exhibited, Earl felt that the world she knew had been destroyed by World War I and she emigrated from England to the United States.
Maud Earl died in New York in 1943. She is buried in Sleepy Hollow.