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 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
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
Thomas Gainsborough RA (1717 – 1788) was painting the British gentry for decades during the Georgian period, including Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire (from the film, The Duchess) as well as Queen Charlotte, and a celebrity for the time, the playwright Richard Sheridan’s wife – think Georgian Hello magazine(!). He was also a founding member of the … More Mr and Mrs Hallett’s Spitz dog
Bernard Lens III (1681-1740): Portrait of a Boy with a Dog, said to be Master Weld, 1720 Although so little is seen of the dog, it looks to be a King Charles Spaniel. “This miniature of a boy is from a group of miniatures of the Weld family. It is known as ‘Master Weld’. The … More Master Weld’s Dog
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
Jan van Eyck (1390 – 1441) painted this work, The Arnolfini Portrait, (1434). “This work is a portrait of Giovanni di Nicolao Arnolfini and his wife, but is not intended as a record of their wedding. His wife is not pregnant, as is often thought, but holding up her full-skirted dress in the contemporary fashion. Arnolfini … More The Arnolfini’s dog
Marc Biboud, (1923-2016), Two Dog Acrobats, (1953). Here the late French photographer captures a fleeting shot of Parisian circus life as two dogs are (probably) forced to walk the tightrope to the amusment and awe of the crowd below. A cup for donations stands in the foreground on an ominous looking straw laden crate – … More Dogs on dogs
Unknown artist, Attic Red figure cup depicting dog scratching ear with hind leg, (500BCE – 401BCE) Ancient Greek, perhaps Athenian, red-figure painting of a greyhound type dog scratching his ear. Although little can be known about the providence of the artist, let alone the dog, it is humbling to know that even over a 2,500 … More I think this dog has fleas…
Unknown artist’s depiction of a man holding a spear, followed by a dog. Undated but produced between 18,500 and 14,00 years ago in the Altamira Cave, northern Spain. Made using diluted ochre and perhaps a shaped stick or animal hair brush (possibly).
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.
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