The Spanish greyhound has a history running back through to the Middle Ages, standing at a nobleman’s side, in oil paintings or perhaps most famously in the opening sentence of the Spanish literary classic Don Quixote by Cervantes. London-based photographer Martin Usborne’s latest project Where Hunting Dogs Rest centres on what he calls their fall from grace; a darker side to the modern story of these blue-blooded dogs.
Inspired by the dramatic lighting and earthy palette of 17th-century Velazquez’ paintings, Martin Usborne’s canine portraits recall a time when Spanish hunting dogs were highly prized. To kill a Galgo, as they’re also known, was a serious crime, but now every year at the end of the Spanish hunting season anywhere up to 150,000 are abandoned or killed. Where Hunting Dogs Rest is a hauntingly beautiful book that is about raising awareness and changing their sad fates. Martin’s Kickstarter campaign has already well surpassed its goal, but extra pledges will go toward the dogs. “I hope that these images show something of the classical beauty and heritage of these dogs whilst not ignoring the ugliness of their modern situation,” he says.
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