Francis James Barraud (Francis James Barraud)

Francis James Barraud

Artist. He is remembered for the painting of “Nipper”, the dog on the His Master’s Voice record label. The son of the painter, Henry Barraud, he studied at the Royal Academy Schools, at Heatherley’s Art School in London, and at the Beaux Arts in Antwerp. His brother, Mark, was a painter of stage sets in Bristol, and owned a terrier named Nipper. Mark died young and Francis agreed to look after the dog. After the dog died, in September 1895, Francis Barraud remembered how, when the phonograph was playing, “I had often noticed how puzzled he was to make out where the voice came from,” so he commemorated him in a painting, “Dog looking at and listening to a phonograph.” The painting was rejected by the Royal Academy and by several magazines, so Barraud changed the colour of the horn from black to gold and the name of the painting to “His Master’s Voice” and offered it to the Gramophone Company (later Electronic and Musical Industries – E.M.I.). They accepted it, on condition that he produce a new version, with the phonograph replaced with a gramophone, for which Barraud was paid £50 with a further £50 for the copyright. Barraud was to paint several more versions of the subject. Although H.M.V. no longer exists as an imprint, having been replaced by E.M.I. Classics, it continues as the name of the string of retail shops. (bio by: Iain MacFarlaine)


  • June, 16, 1856


  • August, 08, 1924


  • Hampstead Cemetery
  • England

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