Grapes and Dogs

Last night my dad and I had a heart-to-heart. It seems he is tired of all the paw-holding he has to do when I am on the internet. Mind you I’m good at finding stuff on the internet; I can google with the best of ’em. Its the ctrl-key, the alt-key, the shift-key, everything that makes me put two paws on the keyboard at once. You have to imagine  me sitting on this blue plastic stool, trying to type. Hunt and peck is OK but I tend to loose my balance–I have to really lean back on my tail every time I have to capitalize a letter. My dad doesn’t like to use that blue stool after I’ve been on the internet a while. He said I should just pretend I’m a Unix guru because they never use the shift key–it’s a point of honor with them–and then I wouldn’t have to lean back on my tail to keep from losing my balance.

Its tough being a dog. Not a single dog has commented on my blog. It’s hard not to take it personally.

So then he says, “why not use the caps-lock key” and pretend your one of those all-capital-letters internet people, who apparently think they are computer-savvy because they remember that’s how it was done in 1960. Give me a break. So now he’s looking over my shoulder and saying savvy is related to the Spanish word ‘saber’ which means ‘to know’ and maybe I should put that in my blog to make it more interesting. What does he know? He wants me to be more independent and he looks over my shoulder. Go figure.

Hey, have you ever contemplated a dog grasping a mouse? Just take a moment to try. See what I mean? Its next to impossible. I’ve chased mice before and Louie, he’s my cat-brother, has caught a few. He likes to play with them till they stop moving. I don’t think he’s my real brother, but my dad says we are all family and he IS my brother.

So then my dad hands me this giant folder with over 700 dog-art images and he says, “its your baby, I’m not doing dog-art anymore”. Hey, that’s OK by me. I like dog-art. “Fine by me”, I say, “I’ll do all the dog-art on this blog and you do whatever it is you do over on your blog”. He didn’t like the tone of that, but we agreed, so from now on that’s how it will be.

I’m sorry for that inordinately long preamble. You could have skipped it if all you wanted was dog-art. That brings me to today’s topic: grapes and dogs. Here’s how it happened. It seems that one day back in Texas my dad was couch-potatoing watching TV and eating raisins and this neighbor drops by and starts talking and by-the-by she says “did you know that raisins kill dogs”. “Never heard of such a thing”, my dad says and right there he hands me a raisin and I chow it right down. I guess I was lucky ’cause I didn’t die. Maybe you have to eat a bunch of raisins.

Later my dad checked it out and said “its true, raisins DO kill dogs, and grapes too”. These days he doesn’t give me or the interlopers (that’s my sibling if you’ve just tuned in) raisins or grapes any more.

That’s how I started thinking about ‘still-life with dogs’–you know–art pictures with a big bowl of fruit and also a dog. OK, you skeptics, here you go:

Dog with Grapes--Ferdinand Waldmuller--1836

Dog with Grapes–Waldmüller–1836

Don’t be afraid–go ahead and click on it–its not a big file and you’ll see it lots better. Can you imagine how much time it took to paint each and everyone of those grapes? He did a good job on the dog too, don’t you think? This picture was painted by the Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793-1865).

Now some of you may be thinking “just because you found one still-life with a dog doesn’t mean you have to write a whole blog article about it”. Oh ye of little faith. Here is another:

Pronkstilleven with dog and parrot

Pronkstilleven with Dog and Parrot

This painting (just above) is by Baroque era Flemish painter, David de Coninck (ca. 1646-1701). The fruit would have been considered luxury fruit in Belgium at that time. A pronkstilleven is an exotic still-life. Most dogs don’t know that. The dog pictured is surely (and rightly so) more interested in the parrot than in the fruit. Be sure to click on the image so you can see it better. Oh, by the way, the painting as well as the original of the digital image above came from the Abraham Bredius Museum in The Hague, Netherlands.

I have two more dog-art still-lifes for you. The next one is housed in The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia and is by the French Baroque era painter, Alexandre-François Desportes (1661-1743). Here it is:

Still Life with dead hare and fruit

Still Live with Dead Hare and Fruit–1711

Notice also the butterfly and in the background a horse and rider with dogs trailing behind it. You might have to click on the image to make it bigger.

The last image (just below), although it has no grapes, is especially appropriate for this post because it is entitled “The Month of May”. It was painted somewhere between 1640 and 1645 by Spanish artist Francisco Barrera (1595-1658). Here it is:

Francisco Barrera--the month of May--1640-45

The Month of May

Be sure to click on the image so you can see it properly, and if you know what that white thing is on the right-hand platter, please comment so I and others can also know. The painting is housed at the Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava. Probably I snagged the image from The Web Gallery of Art.

I hope you appreciated today’s dog-art, and those dogs of the past who sat still in spite of their nature so that we could all have these still-life images to enjoy.

Yours as always,

Rita the dog


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8 Responses to “Grapes and Dogs”

  1. Esther (mom) Buddenhagen Says:

    Hi, Rita,
    This was a really nice post with excellent paintings.
    If dad doesn’t like to sit on the blue stool after you do, he can put a cloth on it. The stool has always looked immaculate to me.
    I am so impressed that you spend your time getting to know dog art.
    love, Mom

  2. rita314 Says:

    Thanks, Ma. Your support keeps me going :-).

    I guess that cloth your talking about would have to be a stool cloth.

    Your loving daughter,

    Rita the dog

  3. Luisa Says:

    Rita, your parents should be totally proud of you and your most excellent blog.

    Our mom freaks out if we get too close to the computers. [We figure what she doesn’t know won’t hurt her.]

    Anyhow, thanks for the great blog — your parents’ blogs are cool, too — and I hope you are feeling better after drinking from that mud puddle.

    Unos fuertes abrazos desde California —
    Piper, Big Sneak, Bounce, Twig, Grayling and The Landshark
    P.S. Don’t tell Mom.

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  5. rita314 Says:

    Luisa, Piper, Big Sneak et al Thanks for dropping by. The puddle was worth it, I’m now recovered. Abrazos — brinca a totos.

    Drug treatment–are you spam? I left you in, ’cause, well someday I may need your help.

  6. Invehootren Says:

    Neat website=) hope to come back again soon..

  7. Magda Says:

    hi rita- I really love the Pronkstilleven with Dog and Parrot and would like to use it for a record cover ( I am a musician)
    do you know the copyright implications and where did you get the Digital Image from ? I couldnt find it in the collection of the mUseum you mention, but maybe its not on their website..thank you for your help! magda

    • rita314 Says:

      The image came from usenet or internet years ago. I have no idea about copyrights, except probably there is one … good luck.
      ..Rita the dog

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