About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Monday, April 24, 2017

good morning

Fletcher Fund, 1929 www.metmuseum.org
I think Etruscan askoi flasks are my new favorite things this week.  This askos (flask) dates from the 4th century B.C., and is a stylistic adaptation from earlier Greek bird-shape vases.  Askoi were based on the shape of plump full wineskins, which look a lot like a sitting bird, and askoi were popularly made in the shape of ducks (also nice and plump).  This rooster is an unusual variant.  Look at his perfectly modelled comb.
Here is an article on Etruscan bird-askoi from the Penn Museum, and another on Etruscan pottery overall from the Ancient History encyclopedia online.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

romanian proverbs

thanks pixabay

From Rumanian Proverbs, collected by Marcu Beza and published in 1921:
  • Câinele nu intră, dacă nu-i uşa deschisă. -- A dog doesn't enter if the door is not open.
  • De te latră un câine, astupă-i gura cu pâine. -- If a dog barks at you, stop his muzzle with bread.
  • Câinii când încep a lătra te lasă, dar gura lumii—pace. -- There is some respite from a barking dog, but never from wagging tongues.
  • Câinele latră la lună toată noaptea, şi luna nu-1 ascultă niciodată. --The dog barks at the moon all night long, but the moon never hears him.
  • Cine se judecă, adeseori pierde un bou si câştigă o pisică. --The man who goes to law often loses an ox to win a cat.
  • Ce naste din pisică soareci mănâncă. -- What is born of a cat eats mice.
  • La casa cu două fete mor pisicile de sete. -- In the house where there are two girls, the cats die of thirst.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

give a dog a bone, c 1320

thanks discardingimages.tumblr.com

From the Hours of Saint-Omer, France ca. 1320  (Want to see the book he comes from?  British Library, Add 36684, fol. 34r).

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

rabbit, lisbon, 2014

By r2hox from Madrid, Spain (Bajo el puente - 30)
[CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
"Bajo el puente" - "under the bridge."  Photographer r2hox's blog Arte en la Calle is full of observed street art as vivid and powerful as this.

Monday, April 17, 2017

a poetical naturalist on the dog

From a child's book of natural history in verse, dated 1848:

THE friend of man, the faithful friend,
The virtues of whose race descend,
To bless thy masters, rich or poor,
On fertile plains, or barren moor.

(Canis Sibericus.)
"Mid wastes of wild untrodden snow,
Who like this Dog the sledge can draw?
Not e'en the reindeer can contend
With him, the rude Kamtschatkan's friend.

(C. Terrae Novae.)
Mid roaring torrents, raging seas,
The brave Newfoundland Dog essays,
Despite of danger or of dread,
To rescue from a watery bed.

(C. Familiaris.)
The shepherd's noble, faithful charge,
The guardian of his flock at large,
What pen can laud his properties,
Or speak of him as he deserves?

(C. Domesticus.)
The farmer's and the grazier's Cur,
Invaluable helps they are,
Who journey on with patient speed,
And prove most useful friends in need.

-- from Dring, M. (1848). The child's poetical naturalist: with notes. London: Hamilton, Adams & Co.. 120-1.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

enjoy easter fiercely!

thanks internet archive (PD)
"This is a fierce bad Rabbit; look at his savage whiskers, and his claws and his turned-up tail."

I always had a soft spot for Beatrix Potter's thug bunny.  If you recall that you did too, you may refresh your friendship with him here at Internet Archive.  I think that Beatrix Potter knew she had a streak of Fierce Bad Rabbit herself, thinly veneered.  It's right there in her style - creatures recorded down to the last realistic hair, dressed up for civilized life but ready to shuck it all off at any moment.

Happy Easter to you all, dear Museum friends.  
Remember to share your carrots!
And be careful where you shuck off your veneer.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

madame de pompadour's dog

Acquired by Henry Walters, 1895 (CC) thewalters.org
The artist: Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, circa 1755.  If that name sounds familiar to Museum friends with a taste for French history, that's because you know Jeanne best as the Marquise de Pompadour (1721-1764).  This engraving of her dog - possibly Bébé - was the latest stage in an art collective.  As explained here at the Walters' source page, the pup's portrait was first engraved upon a gem by Jacques Guay.  Then another artist, possibly Francois Boucher, drew the gem, and last but not least Madame de Pompadour created an engraving based on the drawing.  This isn't meant to take away from the quality of the engraving at all.  The delicacy and sprightliness of this creature still shine through its third stage of portrayal; Madame de Pompadour was a woman of several gifts, so this doesn't surprise me.
I found a transcript of an NPR review of the Walters' exhibition in which "Bebe" was included.  Would you like to read it?  Here you go
BONUS!  Are you interested in the royal world of Versailles in general?  Have I found the blog for you.  This is Versailles.