Dorothy’s Dog

The little known English portrait painter, John Bettes the Younger, (d.1616) is believed to have depicted Dorothy Bray, Baroness Chandos, in this portrait from 1579, incorrectly titled The Duchess of Chandos. Dorothy is seated with her hands clasped together, gazing into the viewer’s space. Her familial coat of arms sits to the right of her, clearly … More Dorothy’s Dog

Italian Spaniels

This is the Florentine painter, Bronzino’s Portrait of a Lady in Red from 1533. It is thought to depict Francesca Salviati, and if this is true, it means this portrait displays the wealth and piety of the mother of the future Pope Leo XI. Salviati was the daughter to a wealthy Italian politician and related through … More Italian Spaniels

Beggar’s Belief!

Jacques Callot (1592 – 1635) was a French print maker working mainly in France and Italy. His etching (above)of a bedraggled beggar and his dog capture the mood and poverty of 17th century central Europe. We can see that he is a beggar because of the alms cup he appears to be holding. The dog would … More Beggar’s Belief!

Beatrice’s Best Buddy

  “Eleanor Beatrice Townsend (1870–1884) was the sixth of seven children born to John Joseph Townsend, a New York attorney and politician, and his wife, Catherine Rebecca Bronson Townsend, a friend of John Singer Sargent’s and the subject of her own portrait by the artist. Portraits of children are among Sargent’s earliest works and remain … More Beatrice’s Best Buddy

Wyndham Knatchbull-Wyndham’s Whippet

Here is Pompeo Batoni’s portrait of Sir Wyndham Knatchbull-Wyndham, 6th Baronet which was painted between 1758 and 1759, most likely while Knatchbull-Wyndham was on his Grand Tour (a rite of passage of European – mostly British- nobility, who would travel through the European mainland from Paris to Naples in search of the beginnings of Western civilisation, … More Wyndham Knatchbull-Wyndham’s Whippet

A monk’s dog

This close up photo of a dappled grey greyhound is from a Spanish manuscript stating King James II of (various parts of) Spain’s law codes for Aragon at the end of the 13th century.  The greyhound is extremely detailed for its size, with the artist noting the dog’s nostrils, eyelids and rib cage. Although stylised, … More A monk’s dog

A Dutch Dog or Two

This “tin-glazed earthenware” tile was made in the Netherlands, probably between 1620 – 1640. It seems to depict a dog, a spaniel(?), running or jumping inside a yellow painted diamond shape, or lozenge. Although the creator of this tile will undoubtedly remain unknown, Dutch tiles were very common in middle class and upper class kitchens, to … More A Dutch Dog or Two

Ptolemy’s Canis Major and Canis Minor

Above is a photograph of an illustrated page from Ptolemy’s Almagest, first written in 150CE, although this copy was clearly produced much later! It depicts the constellations of canis major and canis minor and apparently served as an astronomer’s and astrologist’s guide book. It was first translated in Latin in the 12th century (according the The … More Ptolemy’s Canis Major and Canis Minor

Solomon’s Dog

Solomon ben Isaac, Pentateuch with Targum Onkelos and Rashi’s commentary (ff. 1-272), Five Scrolls (Hamesh megillot; ff. 273-311v) and Haftarot(ff. 312-381) with Rashi’s commentary (detail) France; 14th century. See link for more details:  (http://www.bl.uk/catalogues/illuminatedmanuscripts/ILLUMIN.ASP?Size=mid&IllID=52590) This manuscript extract, from the British Library,  is written in Hebrew (?) and dates from the 1300s in France. I don’t … More Solomon’s Dog