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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, August 20, 2015

dog like an arrow

thanks wikimedia commons (PD)
Two or three centuries ago, a royal or noble lady might choose to have herself painted as Diana, the goddess of the hunt.  This might have been a fancy-dress-up conceit to commemorate how much she loved the chase, or simply the outdoors; it might also have been a declaration of the purity of her character, as that too was a large part of Diana's myth.  In this portrait by Carlo Angelo dal Verme (Italian, 1748-1826), Maria Amalia of Austria,  the Duchess of Bourbon-Parma, immortalized one of the activities she liked best in a royal life that seems largely to have been filled with disappointments.
Another important part of the Diana myth is the goddess' hunting dog pack, given to her by the nature god Pan.  Most of the "dress up as Diana" portraits you'll come across have some token dog nose poking in from somewhere; Maria Amalia chose to have her impressively-collared hound point like an arrow toward her impassive, blankly beautiful face.  We've seen Maria Amalia and a doggy pal before at the Museum in this warm, wry German portrait.

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