Saturday, January 17, 2009

Gratuitous cultural dogs

I've been idly Googling (without which I'd probably have got all the following completely wrong!) and browsing the unreliable and US-centric Wikipedia and for some reason started looking for paintings after stumbling on a Nathan Altman portrait of Anna Akhmatova. How I came to stumble on that I really don't know, but it brought me to this portrait with a dog which I think is particularly doggy.

There is a long history of dogs in art. Bonnard was fond of including hounds in his work, the Futurist Giacomo Balla famously painted a dachshund in motion, Francis Bacon painted a scary dog and Lucien Freud has also included dogs in many portraits throughout his long career. Possibly the most piteous dog in art is that painted by Goya.

That's the cultural interlude concluded...