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 !

Sunday, July 21, 2013

a setter sees

thanks wikimedia commons (PD-old-100)
Here is Dash, a setter in a wooded landscape, circa 1816.  This image was most arresting to me this morning, because I like setters, particularly white and red ones like the one shoving his nose along a handy cat on the couch right now.  Then when I pulled this up and had a lingering look at it it was fun cataloging the differences - leggier than ours, skinnier face, same chest though.
It's the eyes that got me.  Those calm, almost human eyes, happy to gaze upon a friendly presence for however long is good (or until a bird needs pointing).  I know that look.  I expect to see it myself any second now.  So I feel sincere appreciation for the artist, Jacques-Laurent Agasse (1767-1849), who came from Switzerland to become one of England's greatest animal painters of his time.  He studied with David in Paris, and was a student of veterinary medicine.  Some time after his return to Switzerland he painted a portrait of an English gentleman's dog, upon which the client brought Agasse back to England with him.  Agasse died there, and by some reports in poverty despite his acknowledged gift for capturing horses and dogs on canvas. Apparently it wasn't money that drove him.  But I already guessed that from seeing this work.

1 comment:

parlance said...

I wonder if he did indeed paint for love of the animals and didn't care how much money he made. I know of many vets who think similarly, and make money to live, of course, but are primarily in the business to help animals.