Where we celebrate the noble nanny dog character of mythology, history and entertainment.

Art Books

Impressionist Cats and Dogs: Pets in the Painting of Modern Life

Many Impressionist paintings of modern life and leisure include images of household pets. Their appealing presence lends charm to such works while alluding to middle-class prosperity and the growing importance of animals as family members. In many cases, such domestic denizens significantly complement representations of their owners. In certain others, the devotion of individual artists to their pets symbolically enhances their expressions of artistic identity. This book focuses on the role of pets in Impressionist pictures and what this reveals about the art, artists, and society of that era. James Rubin discusses works in which artists paint themselves or their friends in the company of their pets, including several paintings by Courbet (who was fond of dogs) and Manet (a notorious lover of cats). He points out that in some works by Degas, dogs contribute to the artist’s commentary on psychological and social relationships, and that in paintings by Renoir, dogs and cats have playful and erotic overtones. He also offers a theory to explain why Monet almost never painted pets. Drawing on early pet handbooks and treatises on animal intelligence, Rubin explores 19th-century opinions on cats and dogs and compares handbook illustrations with the animals shown in Impressionist works. He also provides information on pet ownership and on the place of Impressionism in the long history of animal painting.

Dog Painting 1840 – 1940

William Secord is the first author to explore the presentation of the dog, from its origins in Greek, Roman and later European art, to the remarkable paintings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries up to modern times. In this splendid work he traces the evolution of some fifty breeds, using carefully selected illustrations by outstanding nineteenth and twentieth century artists, ranging from depictions of hounds and sporting dogs in the field to Victorian portraits of pampered pets and highly-bred favorites. From the diminutive chihuahua to the massive St Bernard, this fascinating account of most of the popular breeds provides an original and penetrating artistic record of mankind’s faithful companions. It is also an invaluable reference work about the many superb painters who specialized in dog painting, providing an essential index for art historians, dealers and galleries requiring a directory of names and examples of the exponents of this popular genre.

Breed Apart: The Art Collections Of The American Kennel Club And The American Kennel Club Museum Of The Dog

This volume is a testament to our love for the dog, in all its guises, in conformation dog shows, field and obedience trials, in the sporting field and as a pet. It is also a testament to the many artists, some of whom were virtually forgotten until recently, who chose to use their insights and artistic skills to portray the dog on canvas, paper and in porcelain and bronze. Chronicled in this monumental volume is the combined encyclopaedic collections of the American Kennel Club and the American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog. Because of the enormity of the two collections, it was impossible to include everything – during the selection process only the very best of the collected works were chosen. The collections are particularly comprehensive, and include not only nineteenth and twentieth century paintings and bronzes, but many watercolours, original prints, silver trophies and antique dog collars, each and every artefact directly related to dogs.

The American Dog at Home: The Dog Portraits of Christine Merrill

Whether highly bred canines or loveable mixed breeds, America has fallen in love with the dog, and who better than Christine Merrill, America’s premier pet portraitist, to chronicle this long term relationship. As best selling author Barbara Taylor Bradford exclaims, She has caught my Jemmy exactly; the portrait is perfect in every way. While grounded in the traditions of 18th and 19th century England, this Baltimore artist has over the past 20 years created a body of work, which depicts the American dog in its own especially American environment. Each chapter of this book features an American dog owner who has commissioned Merrill to capture their dog in oils, and answer the who, what, where and why’s of each collector’s story, and how they came to seek out Merrill to portray their dogs – members of the family whose portraits often supplant the portraits of their human relatives. Each chapter is lavishly illustrated, not only with Merrill’s paintings, but also with colour photographs of the pet owner with their American dog at home. Merrill’s paintings, executed in the centuries old style of the great English masters of animal painting, are timeless testaments to our love for the dog, and Americans all over the country have chosen her to create portraits in oil of their beloved pets. Merrill counts movie stars, authors, socialites and captains of industry among her clients, each with one thing in common: their love for their pets.

Best in Show: The Dog in Art from the Renaissance to Today

Dogs have been featured in works of art in various ways—from primary subjects to supporting characters to props. Best in Show is the most up-to-date, comprehensive survey of the dog as shown in painting, sculpture, works on paper, and photography from the end of the sixteenth century to today. This beautifully produced book features sixty works by such illustrious artists as Francis Bacon, Gustave Courbet, Salvador Dalí, Lucian Freud, Thomas Gainsborough, Edouard Manet, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Andrew Wyeth, and many more. Four fascinating essays by distinguished scholars discuss the dog in the context of the art of the 16th through the 21st centuries; examine the purebred and how breeds have developed and changed over the years; and outline the results of scientific inquiry over the centuries regarding the nature of dogs.

Dog Painting: A history of the dog in art

William Secord explores the presentation of the dog, from its origins in Greek, Roman and later European art, to the remarkable paintings of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries up to modern times. In this splendid work he traces the evolution of some fifty breeds, using carefully selected illustrations by outstanding nineteenth and twentieth century artists, ranging from depictions of hounds and sporting dogs in the field to Victorian portraits of pampered pets and highly-bred favorites. From the diminutive chihuahua to the massive St Bernard, this fascinating account of most of the popular breeds provides an original and penetrating artistic record of mankind’s faithful companions. It is also an invaluable reference work about the many superb painters who specialized in dog painting, providing an essential index for art historians, dealers and galleries requiring a directory of names and examples of the exponents of this popular genre.

Dogs in the Louvre

Throughout the ages, artists have frequently depicted dogs as symbols of positive values such as courage, loyalty, and vigilance. Whether serving as guards, guides, companions, or hunters, dogs have a very strong presence in the great artworks at the Louvre. They appear in the form of Mesopotamian statuettes of the third millennium BC; they flank peasants in Le Nain’s paintings, or sit loyally at the queen’s side in Rubens’s The Coronation. They may be portrayed as active, accompanying Diana the Huntress, or pampered, as cherished lap dogs nestled on cushions.This beautiful volume is packed with works from all of the Louvre’s many departments. Each painting or sculpture is shown in its entirety and in detail, to highlight the canine presence, and is accompanied by short, illuminating commentary. The book opens with a preface in which the prize-winning author draws upon his own personal experiences with man’s most loyal companions. Dogs in the Louvre provides a delightfully unusual tour of the most visited gallery in the world, and invites the reader to engage in a fresh way with some of its perennially inspiring themes. It is a fitting tribute to man’s best friend.

The Dog: 5000 Years of the Dog in Art

For more than 5000 years, artists have created an extraordinary array of captivating images of the dog – the animal that has enjoyed the closest and most intriguing relationship with man. This beautiful book, available for the first time in an unabridged compact edition, features works from all over the world, ranging from the earliest African rock paintings to the groundbreaking work of contemporary artists. It explores the various roles the dog has played in both art and society, including its depiction as a symbol of fidelity and romantic love; as a prized possession, vaunting its owner’s power and wealth; as a loyal pet; as a mythological being, travelling between the lands of the living and the dead; as a religious image of purity, or dissolution; and as an indispensable working and hunting companion. A vividly written text is accompanied by glorious images that capture the soulful, beguiling and dynamic character of man’s best friend in its diverse incarnations, from protector to predator, dark force to deity.

The Artful Dog: Canines from The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Loyal dogs have always been by the side of great artists. In this celebration they are front and center. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which brought us Catnip, now presents masterpieces of dog-centric art. Each is accompanied by prose or poetry from some of the worlds great writers, humorists, and thinkers, including Edith Wharton, Groucho Marx, and William Shakespeare. A painting of puppies wrestling playfully in an American quilt is paired with Charles M. Schulz’s cheerful “Happiness is a warm puppy.” Other treasures reinforce the intimate bond of man and dog, from a shaggy Newfoundland acting as a cozy seat for a child in a Renoir painting to a winsome dachshund performing tricks in an early-twentieth-century photograph. Frisky and idiosyncratic, this giftable collection is as delightful as its canine subject.

Dogs: History, Myth, Art

Archaeological evidence of truly domestic dogs dates back to the Stone Age, when humans lived as bands of hunter-gatherers. The long association that followed, with dogs living alongside people as hunters and companions, guardians and guides, has a treasured place in history and myth—and in a wealth of art and artifacts that document and celebrate this ancient relationship. Dogs: History, Myth, Art explores these cultural expressions and reflections of our deep and long-standing interest in dogs. Here, in exquisite reproductions, are life-size sculptures and tiny engraved gems, ceramic floor tiles and stone wall-reliefs, gold ornaments and ceramic vessels, pocketknife handles and miniature paintings, all depicting dogs from prehistory to the present. Through these illustrations—drawn from the collections of the British Museum—author Catherine Johns considers the evolution of the species, its earliest interactions with human communities, its importance in history and culture, and its role in symbolism, mythology, and legend. Dogs’ wild cousins, wolves, jackals, and foxes, also play a role in this story, and so appear alongside their domestic counterparts in this book’s engaging tour of cultural perceptions and depictions of dogs. The juxtaposition and explanation of images as diverse as Greek pottery, Victorian jewelry, Assyrian sculpture, and Japanese netsuke, as well as drawings and paintings from 1850 bc to the twentieth century, illuminates our understanding of the place of dogs in human society around the world.

Dog in Art

In paintings, photographs, architecture, and as sculpted in bronze and marble, readers take a dog’s-eye view of the world at large for a history of ourselves as told by our most loyal friend. 35 full-color and 26 duotone illustrations.