Outtakes: Furry symbols of wealth and power, feathered accessories and four-legged friends

Animals in portraits are highly symbolic and form part of the artist's commentary on his subject, argues the chief curator of the National Portrait Gallery. Judge for yourself what the artists were saying in these paintings. Top: Anna Pavlova with Jack, by Lafayette, 1927. Above: Sir Edwin Landseer by John Ballantyne, 1865. Above right: Ellen Terry with terriers. Right: Charles II and puppy, 1630. Far right: Max Wall Maggi Hambling, 1981.

The Face in the Corner, by Robin Gibson, is published by the National Portrait Gallery, pounds 7.50