While this book is written in French, one thing that has no language barrier is the love of dogs. This book features a collection of sculptures by Richard Fath from the first half of the 20th century. The AKC has over a dozen works by Fath including works produced for the English Cocker Spaniel Club and Great Pyrenees Club. Below is an abridged translation of the preface to this book, originally written by Camille Michel (then President of the Central Canine Society) so that you may glean an appreciation for the reputation M. Richard Fath left behind with his surviving works:
Prefacing the book on Richard Fath: Sculpting Dogs, is an honor for me but it is also a very natural mission almost obvious to the President of La Société Centrale Canine.
Mr. Richard-Camille Fath, with this beautiful book, perpetuates the connivance between the artist and life, that of the dogs we love. On behalf of all the cynophiles, I thank him for it.
Mr. Richard Fath, like his father, tireless worker like many true artists whose main greatness in my eyes is to fight with the material to give it life, meaning and movement, did so with the Société Centrale Canine of the time. [H]e was their friend, attended exhibitions, translated champions into bronze or terracotta, produced plaques and medals for clubs[.]
At a time when excesses were frequent in artistic production, Fath endeavored to represent, without any exaggeration, dogs as they were without ever yielding to decorative temptations.
He never gave in to "profitable" fashions and training: at the cost of a lot of work and lasting friendships, in dog-loving circles in particular and not only in France, he managed to live modestly but without compromising his art. Isn't that comparable to the merit of our best breeders and breed associations who relentlessly improve and preserve bloodlines away from fads?
Finally, the naturalness and the movement which show through in the sculptures of Fath, which one feels to the touch, if they testify to a long and patient observation, also say how much for this artist the aesthetics could not be dissociated from the feature. You only have to look at the bronze of the English Setter "Melissa"[.]
For thousands of years, the dog has served the man who loves to represent it; for more than a hundred years Cynophilia has had a history. A witness of exceptional sensitivity and awareness, living at a pivotal time, is restored to us in this book. This one, I hope, will bring together the many dog lovers who, in France and in America, still have works by Fath, as he will be able to introduce them to the youngest who still live the same passion for dogs.