Wednesday, February 26, 2014

18th Century Man, Woman, and Child's Best Friend...going to the dogs

The Children of the Second Duke of Northumberland, 1787, Gilbert Stuart
In 21st century America, our pets are often considered family members, be they dogs, cats, goldfish, ferrets, rabbits, pot-bellied pigs, horses, llamas, hamsters, what have you. Examining portraits from the 18th century, we see this is really nothing new at all. Many portraits included dogs, cats, and birds, as well as more exotic pets and, by virtue of them being painted with their people, we can easily surmise the importance they played in the family structure. Today I would like to salute the 18th century pet dog and show you several paintings that include man's (as in mankind's) best friend. As you can see, dogs were included in paintings depicting all
Louis XIV and His Family, 1710, by Unknown, formerly attributed to Nicolas de Largillierre
socioeconomic strata from the humblest peasant to the highest monarch. My novel-in-progress has a dog as an integral part of the story so I was interested in seeing the kinds of dogs who populate 18th century paintings.

George Venebles Vernon, 1767, Thomas Gainsborough
Cottage Girl with Dog and Pitcher, 1785, by Thomas Gainsborough

Woodes Rogers and his family, 1729, by William Hogarth
The Children of King Charles I of England, 1637, Anthony van Dyck (17th century but just had to include it!)
Louis Philippe Joseph, Duc d'Orleans and Duc de Chartres
18th century, by Louis Tocque
Elisabeth Isabella Mniszech , 1797, by Marie Élisabeth Louise Vigée
 Interior with a Mother Attending her Children, 1728, by Willem van Mieris

Portrait of a Lady with a Dog and a Monkey, 1710, by Nicolas de Largillierre
Teresa Vandoni, Italian singer, 1797, Carl Frederick von Breda
Philip of Parma, 1765, by  Laurent Pécheux
I even found our Betsy in the portrait above! 

Kate and Betsy at Yellowstone National Park, 2011, by William F. Ahearn
Have a good week, dear Reader. Thanks for stopping by...Y'all come back now!

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