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Dog Paintings: The Story Behind The Famous Pieces

Updated on April 15, 2013

Dogs Playing Cards: There is Never a Dull Moment

If you live in or have ever been to the United States, chances are you know a thing or two about the Dogs Playing Cards paintings, which were painted sometime back in the 20th century. In 1903, all sixteen of these paintings were used in some way, particularly to advertise the cigar company called Brown and Bigelow.

Today, not surprisingly, they are worth a fraction of what they originally cost, which was a lot. Two of the original paintings, in fact, were sold at auction for a whopping 590,400 dollars.

Blue Dogs: A Howl that Never Gets Old

George Rodrigue, a Cajun artist from Louisiana, clearly had plans to show the art world what it was missing, with his beautiful paintings called The Blue Dog Pictures. What played a significant role in making them popular was not only the advertising campaign by Absolute Vodka but also the Cajun legend of Loup Garou, which was what inspired Mr. Rodrigue to make the paintings.

The legend--entailing the werewolf lurking around swamplands, haunting the locals in both Acadiana and New Orleans--is said to have been used by parents as they taught their children about the importance of having a sense of right and wrong. Moreover, ever since The Blue Dog Picture became renowned, it has been widely used in plenty of venues. You can confidently say that this masterpiece is somewhat in a class all by itself, meaning that it is unlike the other dog painting portraits.

Have you ever seen a blue dog painting before?

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Saved is Sir Edwin Henry Landseer
Saved is Sir Edwin Henry Landseer

Saved: Bravery Shatters Cowardice

The creator of the dog painting called Saved is Sir Edwin Henry Landseer, one who created the lion sculptures in London. Saved, made in 1856, depicts a brave Newfoundland dog rescuing a small child who was drowning. Using the same dog breed, Mr. Landseer painted The Distinguished Member of the Humane Society.

His infatuation with the Newfoundland dog breed is clearly what sparked his ability to bring both works of art to life. This made Mr. Landseer a notable figure among countless dog kennels and venues.

The Distinguished Member of the Humane Society
The Distinguished Member of the Humane Society

The Dog: A Picture that Speaks Volumes

The Dog, standing apart from the rest, is a painting created by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. It was between 1819 and 1823 when it was introduced to the rest of the world. Today, it is among the most famous pieces he blessed Quinta del Sordo with for sure.

The Dog is, in the art world, a symbolic painting of the Western world as it illustrates man's battle with formidable obstacles.

Sun Dogs: A Portrait with Much History

Vädersolstavlan, the Sun Dog Painting, was created back in 1535. Granted, it may not be a traditional dog painting, but this work of art is a showpiece, one that has gotten way more than enough time in the limelight. Hence, it is highly sought after, unfortunately, for a disturbing reason:

The controversial reality of what happened to the gentlemen Laurentius Andreae and Chancellor Olaus Petri. While the original artwork is nowhere to be found, you can see a copy of it from the 1630s at Storkyrkan Church in Stockholm.

The Dog Painting for You

If you like to commission a painting of your dog, perhaps in an original setting such as demonstrated by the pictures above, you can always contact me.

I am a dog portrait artist in Dallas and create paintings from the pictures you send me of your beloved pet.

The Next Big Artist

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