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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 !

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

the duke of mantua's best friend

Or one of them, anyway; the Duke, Federico II Gonzaga, loved dogs and owned over a hundred of them when Titian painted this portrait around 1525. This page makes the claim that this silky-looking fellow is a Havanese. Since the Havanese is said to be Cuba's only native breed, and Spain controlled Cuba at this time and had for a generation, I should think this Italian duke could have gotten a pup for a very special gift. Why not - giraffes and elephants have been gifts among the mighty as well, though I bet they don't cuddle as winsomely as Federico's friend.

This work is oil on canvas, and I am sure it's much more splendid in person than in reproduction (thanks anyway Wikipedia). You may see it if you are at the Prado in Madrid.

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