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 !

Saturday, March 12, 2011

tough and beautiful

[Public domain] Wikimedia commons
First things first: the title of today's post could apply to Bac', who after a worrisome week is like a new cat. There hasn't been much sleep for me in all this, boo hoo, but I feel better too.
Now: This is an oil on linen from 1625 by Juan van der Hamen: Naturaleza muerta con florero y perro ("Still life with flowers and dog"). Van der Hamen (1596-1631) was a Flemish/Spanish painter attached to the courts of Phillip III and Phillip IV. During his short life he is credited with pioneering the Spanish variant of Flemish flower painting as well as other still-life subjects.
When I caught a glimpse of this painting two days ago I stopped dead in my tracks, captured by this work's perfect alchemy between the Dutch/Flemish flower + bauble set piece and the warm Spanish shadow wrapping it round the edges. Velasquez was a contemporary of van der Hamen's, if you can see that tonality here. The clock and jar of fruit up with the flowers speak of life's sweet things and how quickly they go by.
But that dog! That gorgeous, wise-eyed dog, with his powerful head and huge feet! Let me send you to a closeup of him on Flickr. The comments on that page lean toward this being a tricolored Spanish mastiff dog. I knew he had to be a mastiff of some sort.


cate said...

Just wanted to let you know I have awarded you the Stylish Blogger Award
Thanks so much, always great stuff to see here!

jen said...

What a beautiful painting!
You have a beautiful site here:)