Dancing with my Dad

Years ago when I was a much younger dog in Texas my dad sometimes picked me up and danced with me, like a mother dancing with her baby. He seemed to like it — me not so much. Nowadays here in Mexico he doesn’t seem to do it much, but sometimes he does dance with Cosi or Happy, those are my younger sisters, two of the interlopers I told you about in a previous posting. And one day he tried to dance with Giaco, thats my Afghan brother, but since he is too big to pick up he just lifted up his front paws and danced with him that way. To tell you the truth it didn’t work very well.

Still, I feel a strange twinge of angst, a mixture of sadness and happiness when I think about those old days dancing with my dad. And that’s why, when I found this wonderful painting of a man dancing with his dog I felt like I just had to share it with you. This painting was made way back in 1640 by a little known Dutch artist named François Verwilt. He deserves to be much better known, because I’m pretty sure he loved dogs. When I tried to find out more I discovered that memories of him were never written down. Kind of like Barney, who now is only remembered by my mom and dad and me, and I seldom think of him any more.

A mid 18th century French source says François Verwilt was born in 1598 in Rotterdam. Quite a few 19th century sources say he was born in 1598 and died in 1655. But for sure he didn’t die in 1655, since the painting known as “The admiral’s Son” bears his signature with the date 1669. Some confusion of dates may be due to the fact that two or perhaps three other Dutch artists had the same surname: Verwilt. This quote, from a 19th century book gives some information about him:

François Verwilt info but birth was probably around 1620 and death in 1691.

Modern sources, for the most part, say that François Verwilt was born in Rotterdam around 1620 and died there in 1691. All I can add, is that if he took the trouble to paint the wonderful painting below of a man dancing with his dog, he must have loved dogs. Here is that painting:

François Verwilt--A man dancing with his dog--1640

François Verwilt–A man dancing with his dog–1640

Please click on the image, so you can see the painting properly. The larger version is 778 x 960 pixels, but only 105K, so give it a try. The original of this image, and the painting itself are at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, a place with many beautiful paintings.

So what do you think? Did François Verwilt love dogs, or not?

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