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 !

Wednesday, April 18, 2007


I'm a little late today, as I was attending a volunteer appreciation party at the local art museum. But I'm here now and ready to consider the dog in art once more.

Today I am sure you'll enjoy Jean-Baptise Oudry's Bitch Nursing her Puppies of 1752. (You'll easily see which one it is - but I am afraid the image is reversed, and I could not find a better.) Oudry painted several subjects with excellence, but shone in his paintings of animals. This look at a French pointer tenderly seeing to the care and feeding of her roly-poly pups was particularly intimate, and showed a creature giving almost sapient care and attention. As William Secord further points out in Best of Show (p. 106), the rationalist notion that dogs have no souls became more difficult to maintain in the face of such maternal devotion. This new interest in the mind and soul of the dog grew to be well developed in nineteenth-century paintings -- let us look at one tomorrow.

Meanwhile, if you have a dog or few, give them a scratch and try imagining a doggy thought. I know what my dog is thinking as I write this. He is thinking, "I enjoy my bone immensely, but I would also really like to lick that ice cream bowl."
I had a picture of this philosophy in action, but it won't post. What gives?

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