Francis Barraud

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Barraud with one of his many copies of the 1898 painting His Master's Voice

Francis James Barraud (16 June 1856 in London, England – 29 August 1924) was an English painter – the son of portrait photographer Henry Barraud. After one of his works popularized the then-new field of sound recording, he became best known as a commercial illustrator.

Famous works[edit]

His most famous work, His Master's Voice, is one of the best-known commercial logos in the world, having inspired a music industry trademark depicting a dog, possibly a type of terrier (named Nipper) and gramophone, which has been used as a trademark by the corporations RCA Victor, EMI and JVC.

The 1898 painting His Master's Voice in its original form was completed in 1899 and originally showed the dog (who had in fact died four years previously) listening to a cylinder phonograph. This was a rare model, electrically driven and housed in a distinctive round-cornered case, known as the Edison-Bell Commercial Phonograph and produced by Edison's factory exclusively for the British market,

Barraud probably derived the idea of buying such a machine from Hubert von Herkomer who kept a similar machine in his studio. He later replaced the phonograph with a disc machine on the suggestion of William Barry Owen of The Gramophone Company, which then bought the picture by agreement. It was used for advertising by the Gramophone Company and by its US affiliate the Victor Talking Machine Company and soon became one of the world's most recognizable trademarks.

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