Joseph Gott Sculptor, exhibition catalogue (Leeds, Stable Court Exhibition Galleries, Temple Newsam – Liverpool, Walker Art Gallery), London, Lund Humphries, 1972.;
I.Roscoe, E. Hardy, G. Sullivan, A Biographical Dictionary of sculptors in Britain, 1600-1851, New Haven and London, Yale University Press, 2009, pp. 541-547.;
Iuffrida, scheda in Cani in posa dall’antichità ad oggi, exhibition catalogue (La Venaria Reale) curated by F. Petrucci, Milano, Silvana Editoriale, 2018, n. 8, p. 173.</p
Further information:The Leo and Silvia sculpture group adopts from the ancient exemplar the sense of motion and that expression of affection that in classical animal statuary intended to connect with the user intimately. Thus was revealed the ancient concept, present in classical literature since Homer, according to which a amorous feeling is bound to unite all beings endowed with a soul, or anima, the animalia, including non-human animals.
In Gott marble, this antiquing pretext is clothed with an absolute sense of grace, captured in the slight leap of the two greyhounds joined in their game with the long scarf that they hold between their teeth and which, at a level of emotional expression, also connects their souls. This was surely the artist's response to the desire of the unknown client, who had the names 'Leo' and 'Silvia' engraved on the collars of the marble dogs: a possible reference to the names of his greyhounds or, in a sympathetic key, a tribute to the sentiment of two homonymous lovers.
The work can be dated to approximately 1845, when the sculptor began to wind down his activity following an extended crisis of tourism linked to a cholera epidemic.