At it like cat and dog

This dark depiction of A Young Man with a Cat and a Dog has been attributed to Dossi Dossi (1486/7 – 1541/2). WA1956.15.jpgIt has been suggested that the two animals symbolise the opposite sides of the young man’s character, and the intimate nature of the portrait could hint at it being a reflection of the artist himself.

Some attributes connected with dogs during this period: loyalty, intelligence, guidance, watchfulness, love, sexual promiscuity, “human bestiality” and sin*.

Cats, on the other hand, a little discussed animal on this blog, was thought to be easily irritated, treason, domestic tranquillity and intellectualism, while da Vinci said “Even the smallest feline is a masterpiece”**.







*Cohen, S. (2008). Animals as Disguised Symbols in Renaissance Art. [online] Google Books. Available at: [Accessed 11 Jul. 2017].



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