Often, when I look at a colorful, lively Veronese painting, I’m struck by how true are all the figures that support the main scene, not only humans but especially the dogs, cats and other animals.
This one is on the first floor in the Uffizi museum in Florence, Italy.
Looking back on a week in Florence, it’s obvious how much dogs and other pets were loved throughout history. Here are a few that crossed my way.
The oldest is a dog’s head decorating a lamp, a hellenistic household item but treasured and valued to be exported.
A Roman sculpture of a boy, hugging his dog.
The Renaissance had a strong impact on many of the arts, especially the visual ones. These photos are from Ghiberti’s “Gates of Paradise” (the copy which is outside on the Baptistry).
The story of Isaac, how he orders Esau to go hunting, includes a dog.
The “Venus of Urbino” by Titian (1488-1576) includes a really cute spaniel, so does the portrait of Elenora Gonzaga, also by Titian.
The dog in a Venus by Titian’s workshop (1550) isn’t so distinct; its head lacks an outline, so it disappears into the background.
The cloister of Santo Spirito has access to the “New Refectory” frescoed 1597 by Bernadino Poccetti. Both the dog and cat are looking curiously at the visitors.
Once more back to the Uffizi, there is a portrait of Vittoria della Rovere as a young girl, petting her dog (1625).
Walking up the grandiose staircases in the Pitti Palace, we saw these two around the Modern Art section: a Roccoco lady with her dog and the last one painted in 1874.
Of course, there are many dog scenes in the streets of Florence. One could easily start and album of dog fashions.