Coolidge - Dogs Playing Poker

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge - A Biography

Cassius Marcela’s Coolidge is most known for his depiction of dogs in human type situations and occupations. Born in 1844, Coolidge was brought up in the Antwerp region of New York. Born into a secure middle-class family, Coolidge worked his way up from stock-boy to druggist at a local drugstore, all the while sketching & painting works of art. Eventually the ever resource Coolidge, found the time and the money to open up a bank and a newspaper, and then relocated his entire family to Rochester New York, where the American artist started painting canines. Starting off with dogs on commuter trains and in ballparks, Coolidge’s first cash paying customers were tobacco companies that create copies of the painting then put it on a small insert that fit into the cigar boxes, and used these as marketing giveaways. Coolidge’s popularity grew and grew, and he finally gave up running the drugstore and solely initiated work on painting dogs in strange human-like positions. The world had never seen this before, as portraits were portraits and depictions of animals, were always just the animal acting naturally.

Dogs Playing Poker Painting

About Dogs Playing Poker

CM Coolidge’s biggest break occurred in 1871 as the cigar manufacturing company, put in an order for hundreds of thousands of copies of his dog paintings for advertising posters, prints and just general giveaway calendars. It seemed as if CM Coolidge and his ship, have finally arrived, and now he could concentrate on creating and working in the field that he adored so much, painting. Working day and night, with very little time off, CM Coolidge fulfilled his obligation for the 300,000 copies, per the contract, and never went back to work at the drugstore after that. The country soon fell in love with the most iconic of paintings by Coolidge, the classic Dogs Playing Poker. Dogs Playing Poker by CM Coolidge, tends to lean toward the, coy yet on closer inspection, the brilliance of this masterful work is in the quality that was put into it, rates right up there with some of the best artist of his time. The influence of light, although artificial in the canine painting about Dogs Playing Poker, shows the complexity that Coolidge easily can list and is a nod in the direction of Rembrandt as well. It seems as if Coolidge had a deep appreciation for all things, not only Rembrandt, but many of the other Dutch master artists, that proliferated Europe from the 13th century on, showing signs of life, in all of Coolidge’s pictorial presentations.

As with most others, there is always a story either hidden underneath the paint, or locked away deep inside this unconscious of the artist themselves. Just by looking at the seven dogs that are on a poker table, each with his own personality and characteristics, it does not take long for one to see that there is the story behind each and every dog seated. The bottom line is that CM Coolidge has created a masterpiece, where other magnificent artist fear to tread, and the comical side of exquisite art. Dogs Playing Poker is an American classic and is known throughout the world as one of the most treasured works of art, from this American master.

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