Bassano’s Boys

Jacopo Bassano (ca.1510 – 1592) was an Italian painter from Venice who is known for  depicting of Biblical scenes in a domestic atmosphere, with some art historians suggesting he was the forerunner of Caravaggio who was famous, or rather infamous, for his portrayals of ‘ordinary’ people, beggars, prostitutes, and the poor in his altar pieces. … More Bassano’s Boys

Persian Pup

Farrukh Beg (c.1545 – 1615) was an Iranian painter at the court of Mirza Muhammad Hakim. The above painting, titled Nobleman with a Dog, is thought to be by a student of Beg’s, perhaps Muhammad Ali, but more is known of Farrukh Beg’s life and I am aware of the dearth of Middle Eastern art on … More Persian Pup

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!

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

Drawing Dogs

Ford Maddox Brown, (1821-1893) was an English painter of the Pre-Raphaelite school. Above is an undated Study of a Greyhound, graphite on off-white paper.

The Venus’ Companion

Titian (1488 – 1576) was a prolific and gifted Venetian painter during the late Renaissance. The above painting, The Venus of Urbino (1538) is thought by many scholars to be metaphor for the perfect marriage, owing to the cassone or marriage chests depicted in the background which would have been used to transport the bride’s trousseau to her … More The Venus’ Companion