Since prehistoric times, animal paintings have been around when man first learned how to etch something on cave walls. As a result, many cave paintings have been found which are centered around domestic animals and cattle.
Animal paintings are just another way for artists to connect with nature, to be one with its many wonders. And when it comes to a man’s best friend, one can be sure to find a score of unique paintings. There’s a warm, comforting feeling when you see a dog painting.
These furry creatures are not only adorable but picturesque too. If you think that dog paintings are just cute and simple, you’ll be surprised to see how some of the most famous dogs in paintings were painted with a rich backstory.
The Dog, often known by its Spanish translation El Perro is a part of the Black Paintings produced by Francisco Goya in his 70s. The painting depicts a dog gazing upwards towards what can be called a dark, ominous sky while almost buried in a gloomy lump of questionable mass.
Goya was a romantic painter & the last of the old masters among Spanish artists. Though his early artworks were vivid and rosy, his previous pieces were just the opposite. Having fallen prone to mental illness and caught in the lonely clutches of old age, Goya began painting 14 distressful pieces, which are now called the Black Paintings.
The Dog is Goya’s one such painting which says a lot within its minimal appearance. It is thought to represent man’s futile struggles against evil forces even when he knows that he’s drowning in despair. In his last hopes, man seeks some refuge from the divine powers of the sky but to no appeal.
Alfred Berard & His Dog
Painted by revered French artist Pierre Auguste Renoir, Alfred Berard, and his Dog is a classic example of Impression-style painting. Renoir was a prominent artist of the romantic era, and his paintings often depicted female sensuality.
The painting dates back to 1881, and the original copy can be found in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The original piece is a 21×20 inch oil on canvas portrait. Renoir was famous for glamorize his clientele. His artwork encompassed the usage of bright colors in an ordinary day setting to glorify even the most mundane moments. Renoir used to imagine his friends and young models while painting his clients. In this piece, a young man named Alfred Berard can be seen resting against a tree trunk while his Dog remains vigilant.
Madame Renoir with a Dog
Apart from being a romantic painter Pierre Auguste Renoir sure was a dog admirer. This dog oil painting is another Impressionism piece with bright oil colors to show an ordinary day under joyous lighting. Madame Renoir with a Dog, painted in 1880, depicts Pierre-Auguste Renoir’s wife reclining with her pet in a lovely landscape.
The woman and Dog are embedded in the environment thanks to thick brushwork and palette knife work all over the canvas, which is emphasized by the flowers in Madame’s hat. Their main distinguishing feature is their earthy coloration. Renoir married his long-time girlfriend, Aline Chigrot, in 1890. Renoir had several partners during his life, but only one of his muses successfully made him fall in love.
Aline features several paintings, including “Luncheon of the Boating Party,” which depicts her cradling a dog in her arms and is set at the café “La Fournaise,” where Renoir and Aline spent their summer days. She also appears in “The big bathers,” “Oarsmen at Chatou,” and other works. In addition, Renoir painted several images of his wife and their children and their caregiver, Aline’s niece Gabrielle Renard, after their marriage.
Brizo, a Shepherd’s Dog
Rosa Bonheur was a prominent French artist and mostly painted animal paintings. She was a well-known sculptor too. She is heralded to be one of the first feminists coming from France. Her style was outright different from other contemporary female artists of her time, though there were not many.
Bonheur used to wear male clothing often and indulged in drinking, smoking, and hunting, which was reserved for men only. Her paintings are categorized under the Realism genre. After her initial success as an animal painter, she was commissioned by the government to make larger-than-life portraits of domestic cattle such as sheep, dogs, goats in an attempt to glorify France’s rich pasture heritage.
Brizo, Shepherd’s Dog is a very detailed painting. Brizo is an Otterhound. Otterhounds were often maintained in packs which makes it an odd option for a shepherd’s Dog. The title’s allusion to a shepherd’s dog comes from The Wallace Collection’s inaugural catalog, published in 1900.
Love me Love my Dog
Sir Joshua Reynolds was a portrait painter and aesthetician who dominated English art in the mid to late eighteenth century. He tried to steer British painting away from the indigenous anecdotal images of the early 18th century and toward the formal rhetoric of the continental Grand Style through his work and instruction.
Love Me Love My Dog was a commissioned portrait by him. It portrays a sweet, young girl holding her Dog tightly. The lighting used on the main subject distinguishes them distinctly from the background. Also, what better way to captivate the essence that a dog is man’s best friend.
Do you think your walls can use some furry friends too? Though mostly the original copies of these historical paintings are adorning the walls of world-famous museums, you can indeed lay your hands upon commissioned reproductions. If yes, you can visit online art galleries like 1st-art-gallery for some exceptional reproductions of oil paintings featuring dogs.
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