His Only Friend

Image credit: Manchester Art Gallery

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A small thin boy leaning against a grassy bank at the side of a pale, sandy country road. He is fast asleep, with his head lolling back in the grass. The boy is wearing dark holey trousers, with a red waistcoat over a white shirt. All of his clothes are ragged. To the right, a small, light coloured terrier curls against the boy's side, licking his right hand, the dog's gaze fixed on the boy's dirty bare feet. The boy's left arm rests around his canine companion. To the right is a milestone engraved 'LONDON / 31 / MILES' set into the bank. In the background, thick tangled trees grow on the top of the bank.

Manchester Art Gallery



His Only Friend




oil on canvas


H 69.4 x W 95.1 cm

Accession number


Acquisition method

bequeathed by Jesse Haworth, 1937

Work type


Inscription description

Signed blc: Briton Riviere 1871


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Normally on display at

Manchester Art Gallery

Manchester Art Gallery, Mosley Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester M2 3JL England

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