About Me

My photo
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, March 21, 2017

in which a duke's dog asserts himself

Nicasius Bernaerts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
France, 1665: the Flemish animal portraitist Nicasius Bernaerts paints the majestic "Tambon, dog of the Duke of Vendome."  What about that other dog?  Is he simply there to be repressed?
Bernaerts was known for hunting scenes portrayed with energy and even violence, and also for animal portraits that showed close attention to the anatomy of the animal portrayed; in fact Louis XIV hired him to create portraits of all the newest animals at the Versailles menagerie.  Here in this beautiful (and sizable: 50" x 37") oil on canvas, there's no overt violence, but the smaller dog is deeply distressed by Tambon's checking paw.  Is that a reference to Tambon's master?
Which Duke of Vendome claimed this animal and by extension his power?  There were two Dukes of Vendome in 1665: Cesar de Bourbon, and then at his death in October, his son Louis de Bourbon.  I think it had to be Cesar, as Louise had entered the church in 1657 after the death of his wife.  Not that this was any major obstacle to owning a fine dog or anything else at that time and place.

No comments: