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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 !

Thursday, March 12, 2009

oh what a happy highborn pup

Here's Lady Mary Fox, in 1767, painted by the Italian artist Pompeo Batoni. About a year ago in 2008 Batoni was given a retrospective at Britian's National Gallery. In this review from The Spectator, Batoni's evaluated as a workmanlike "Last of the Old Masters," dull if capable, with some flashes of spirit. This, I do think, is one, and the reviewer agrees: "Also here is Lady Mary Fox, later Baroness Holland, whose celebrated amiability shines forth from the canvas."

Not to mention, look at that blissful little doggie she's holding! Don't you love that Batoni didn't feel he had to wait till the dog was staring neatly forward? No, you can tell a great deal about the warmth and affection this woman was capable of inspiring from this portrait. Not only is her pet shown in full joy of cherishing, but Batoni seized on this moment as one that would show this aristocrat most truly. What an honor to be recognized for your ability to love and be loved.

1 comment:

A Few Good Cats said...

Workmanlike...dull...

Sheesh. Critics...

The guy was a mighty good painter as far as we're concerned. But hey, we may not know art, but we know what we like.