March 4, 2009

Count Aldrovandi's cur-dog

Smoky as Renaissance mastiff. Aldrovandi Dog [Norton Simon Foundation, via the NY Times]. Click for big.

Huge thanks to Janeen of the most excellent Smartdogs for sending me a link to this portrait of my cur pup an image of Aldrovandi Dog, painted in 1625 by Guercino [Giovanni Francesco Barbieri].

From the link sent by Janeen:
Although the dog’s name has been lost to time, we know that Count Filippo Maria Aldrovandi (1598–1644) owned the white and brindle mastiff because its elaborate leather collar bears the Aldrovandi coat of arms. The dog’s facial scars and white hair above the mouth suggest that he is old and has seen his share of violent encounters. His ears have been trimmed, a custom fashionable in England and continental Europe during the early seventeenth century. A villa, bathed in golden sunlight, rises in the distance atop a grassy hill alongside other imposing structures that sweep across the lush vista. Dark clouds break on either side of the canine’s head, seemingly chased by the sun-drenched white clouds that hover over the land and surround the dog’s silhouette like a vaporous halo.
Big whoop, says Smoke: I have a pearl necklace with a silver locket, and I am often bathed in golden sunlight. Though Mom says if she ever catches me with a vaporous halo I'll rue the day, whatever that means.

Back when he was small enough to model a present for Princess Lilypug. Those days are long gone.


PBurns said...

A pit bull with pearls? I swear I date that girl!


Anonymous said...

Handsome boy you have there.

Anonymous said...

Showed LilyMunsterPug the pic of her cur cuz Smoky. "They'll just MAKE my pink Easter dress!"