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

Detailed dogs

Izumiya Tomotada, (1811-1883) was a fairly prolific Japanese ‘netsuke’ carver during the 18th century. “ A netsuke is a small sculptural object which has gradually developed in Japan over a period of more than three hundred years. Netsuke (singular and plural) initially served both functional and aesthetic purposes. The traditional form of Japanese dress, the … More Detailed dogs

Romanus Caninus dogus

These photographs of mosaics depicting chained dogs come from the southern Italian town of Pompeii, which was infamously captured in time by the eruption of Mount Versuvius in 79 CE. The majority of historians believe these mosaics would have worked in much the same way that “Beware of the dog” signs work now-a-days – to deter … More Romanus Caninus dogus