courtesy the rijksmuseum http://hdl.handle.net/10934/RM0001.COLLECT.25461
"Deense dog," reads the title of this powerful bronze by French animalier Georges Gardet. I hadn't heard of that breed before - or had I? "Deense" (or "Duitse") is the Dutch term for the Great Dane, it turns out.
Gardet studied at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, which accounts for the high technical quality of this piece. He was also known for his sensitivity to the individual character of his subjects, and is described as giving them a "proud and romantic" feel. The Rijksmuseum acquired this piece in 1904, when Art Nouveau was still in its heyday. I thought I saw a little Art Nouveau sinuosity in the lines here, but no; it's the innate elegance of the animal himself.