Posts Tagged ‘art’

For my Dad

June 4, 2012

From time to  time I just like to make my dad happy.  Here is for you Dad:

LeBlanc Stewart, Julius - Nymphs Hunting - 1898

LeBlanc Stewart, Julius – Nymphs Hunting – 1898

He’s an old guy, but I’m sure he will like that picture.  The artist Julius LeBlanc Stewart (1855-1919) was an American who lived mostly in Paris.  I’m not sure where he found these nymphal huntresses.

Your best friend,

Rita the dog [ignore video add, if any, immediately following]

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Bulldog with women

May 11, 2012

I suppose images of naked bulldogs with women are common.  Still you have to wonder if Mr. Helmut Newton (my previous post) knew about this painting of Francis Picabia:

Francis Picabia--Bulldog with women--1941-1942

Francis Picabia–Bulldog with women–1941-1942

Not that it matters,  but I was struck by the similarity of the subject matter.  Francis Picabia (French 1879 – 1953) was a pretty interesting fellow, being associated with both the Dada and Surrealist movements, certainly belied by the image above.  For more information about him check the link above (first mention of  his name).

Have a nice day,

Rita the dog  [ignore video ad, if any, immediately below]

Dog Portraits

May 23, 2008

In my increasingly vast collection of dog-art there are only about 80 images that might be called “dog portraits”. The rest have dogs, to use movie terminology, as extras. Today I will share with you some of the portraits. The first is by French Impressionist painter Pierre-Auguste Renoir (1841–1919), whose self-portrait when he was about 35 years old is just below:

Renoir self-portrait 1875
Renoir–Self-Portrait–about 1875

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Now Renoir painted lots of things, but I’ll bet you didn’t know he painted a portrait of a dog. Here it is:

Head of a Dog -- Renoir -- 1870
Renoir–Head of a Dog–1870 (big)

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Next is an etching done by Simon de Vlieger (1601-1653), a seventeenth century Dutch designer, draughtsman, and painter, most famous for his marine paintings. Although this etching is called “Two Greyhounds” there is a third pooch in the background who looks a little like me.

Simon de Vlieger--Two Greyhounds--1610
Simon de Vlieger–Two Greyhounds–1610 (big)

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The next dog-art image is by Gerrit Dou (1613-1675), master Dutch painter in the age of Rembrandt. In fact, at age 15 he became Rembrandt’s first pupil, at a time when Rembrandt himself was still a teenager. His fame was certainly due to his own achievements, his meticulous technique and his illusionistic effects. Here is one of his self-portraits:

Gerrit Dou -- self-portraitGerrit Dou–self-portrait–no date

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And here is the beautiful painting of a sleeping dog that Gerrit Dou created in 1650:

A Sleeping Dog Beside a Terracotta Jug, a Basket, and a Pile of Kindling Wood--Gerrit Dou--1650Gerrit Dou–A Sleeping Dog–1650 (big)

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Moving forward in time to the nineteenth century, we come to the French artist Nicolas Toussaint Charlet (1792-1845), known especially for his numerous (over 2000) lithographs, many of military subjects. He also did water-colors, sepia-drawings, numerous oil sketches — and this wonderful portrait of a dog:

Nicolas Toussaint Charlet--Head of a Dog--1820Nicolas Toussaint Charlet–Head of a Dog–1820 (big)

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For your last dog-art treat of the day I have selected an engraving of the nineteenth century English artist, Sir Edwin Henry Landseer (1802-1873), who is well known for paintings of dogs and other animals. Click here to read more about him in what is a pretty interesting article in wikipedia. Here is the picture:

Sir Edwin Henry Landseer--The Twa Dogs--1858Sir Edwin Henry Landseer–The Twa Dogs–1858 (big)

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I am, as usual, yours truly,

Rita the dog

Banksy’s Dogs

April 28, 2008

Chances are you’ve heard of that British artist named Banksy. He goes around London and other cities and paints weird pictures illegally as graffiti. The thing is, he’s a pretty good artist and his art is both funny and socially relevant. Usually. I figure he must like dogs, which is really ironic because I know lots of dogs that would bite him if he tried to paint on their wall. But the reason I think he actually has a thing for dogs is ’cause he puts dogs in some of his pictures. Here, see what I mean:

banksy cat and dog

Banksy–cat and dog

I haven’t been able to tell what is socially relevant about this picture, but as usual you have to click on it to really see it properly, and then maybe you can tell me. That cat at least had the good sense to paint a dog into the picture, watching him paint with his tail. Self-referential art, maybe. I like it pretty well, at least the dog, but I am just a little disappointed that Banksy would lower himself to the point of including a cat. Oh well.

Recently Banksy did it again. He painted another piece of dog-art. This time, there was a surveillance camera right there pointing at him while he painted! This showed remarkable legerdemain and derring-do. (My dad says that’s French going back to Chaucer–I think he’s kidding). Pure moxie, or as we dogs prefer (except Giaco of course), he’s got a lot o’ balls. So here it is poking fun at all those British folks who have turned 2008 into 1984:

more banksy dog art

Banksy — I hope that little kid doesn’t fall

I got this from katize’s blog and he got it from Daily Mail. So you wanted to see the surveillance camera pointing at them while they did this. Ok, you’ll just have to click on one of those links. Just be sure and come back!

–Rita, your faithful dog-art hound.

Dancing with my Dad

April 26, 2008

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?

Balloon Dog — 10 feet tall

April 23, 2008

There is a wonderful new sculpture exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. The sculptures are by Jeff Koons, and as a dog they probably wouldn’t let me in. But I got to see a great photo of what is surely one of the most exciting pieces. Here it is (click on image to see it large):

Balloon Dog (Yellow)

Jeff Koons–Balloon Dog (Yellow)–c2008

(source: Librado Romero/The New York Times)

It is made of stainless steel and is 10 feet tall! Boy, I wish I could see it for real. Click the source above to read the New York Times review of the show.   The show will be on the rooftop at the Met, April 22, 2008–October 26, 2008 (weather permitting).

That’s all the dog art here for today.

A dog’s lot

April 16, 2008

When it rains hard, with lots of thunder and lightning, I get really scared. I look for my dad and if he is sitting I lie on the floor under his legs. He makes me feel safe. He is my protection, my god to keep me safe.

He said people have gods too, and mostly those people try to lie down under His legs just like me with my dad, but sometimes He gets mad at them. Still, when I found this picture of a nice little dog, who happened to be with a naked old man and two naked women, I was surprised at just how angry God could get. It seems there were these two towns, several thousand years ago, called Sodom and Gomorrah and the people who lived there were really bad. My dad said the main bad thing they did was that the men slept with other men and God didn’t like that. I asked if they did it doggie style but he was not amused and didn’t even answer me. Apparently God got so mad he decided to kill all the people in those towns, even the kids and the women. I asked my dad if they were bad too. He said back then the women and kids were property of the men. Boy what a mean god. I was glad my protector wasn’t mean like that.

When I looked at the painting that had that cute little dog in it, I was surprised to see that naked lady pouring wine or something with no glass to catch it. Pretty weird, I thought. No, my dad said, the old guy whose name is Lot is really drinking wine out of that soup bowl and that lady is about to refill the bowl. It looked pretty full to me already, but who am I to question my dad’s word. After all, I’m just a dog.

My dad said the women were the man’s daughters and they were trying to get him drunk so he would have sex with them, and he did and made them both pregnant. What kind of man would do that? Oh, he was the only good man in those towns, that’s why god let him escape. Go figure, I’m just a dog.

The women thought their father, the guy named Lot, was the only man left alive and they the only women–so they had to have sex with their father or that would be the end of all humanity. That’s what my dad said. But weren’t there any other towns around full of men and women? Hey, it was a long time ago, how would I know, I’m just a man. That’s the only answer my dad gave.

Here is that picture. You can click on it to make it big. Off to the right you can see the town Sodom burning to the ground. God’s work. But don’t miss the cute little dog in the front. Look carefully, you will see a fox by the tree.

Lot and his daughters

Hendrick Goltzius-Lot and His Daughters-1616

The fox represents female cunning and the the dog “symbolises vigilance and warns against immoral conduct”. That’s what they said at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam where this painting lives.

My dad wanted me to point out, that if you click to enlarge the picture, you will see over near the burning town of Sodom what looks like a pillar of rock sticking up. That’s Lot’s wife. God turned her into a pillar of salt because she turned and looked back at the burning city! God had said not to do that, but she did it anyway. I guess it servers her right. My dad spanked me when I chewed up his shoe years ago after he said no. But then again, I’m still alive.

Your best friend,

Rita the dog