These illustrative prints have been explored by artists both old and new, although the modern whimsical treatment that is present in most dog artwork is notably lacking in these works. This lack is largely attributed to the 'gentleman-like' mannerisms of this breed, as well as the noble bearing and serious attitude of this canine.
The most common form of English setter canvas art is hunting scenes. English setters were bred for hunting and the stiff 'set' stance that they take on when they've sensed game is a trademark pose for these canines to be depicted in. As expected of hunting dog paintings, these canvas depictions are typically set in an outside environment, such as in the illustrative setter prints by Rial or the dramatic painting 'English Setter' by Bernard De Claviere. Even dog artwork that reveals the symbiotic relationship between these canines and their human masters hint at this dogs active nature. An example of this form of hunting dog art is the work 'Gamekeeper's Daughter' by Fred Taylor, where even the close proximity of dog and woman is unable to shake the sense of alert awareness that characterizes these canines.
Although popular in dog canvas art, the lack of modern styling in paintings featuring these canines is understandable. Unlike many other large breeds in canine fine art, English setters didn't adapt well to the limiting spaces that make up the contemporary lifestyle and therefore continue to be considered hunting dogs rather than pets.