Glossary

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Dog

Dogs are depicted in a number of works in the National Gallery. They range from the scrawny mongrel included by Hogarth in 'The Lady's Death' in his Marriage A-la-Mode, to the precisely defined pet in the foreground of van Eyck's 'Arnolfini Portrait' which may be intended to symbolise the fidelity of the couple.

Apart from domestic settings, dogs can also accompany religious and mythological figures. The huntsman Saint Eustace is surrounded by dogs in Pisanello's interpretation of his conversion ('The Vision of Saint Eustace') ; while one of the attributes of the hunter goddess Diana is a dog and in Titian's 'The Death of Actaeon', she urges dogs to attack her mortal pursuer.

The Arnolfini Portrait
Jan van Eyck
1434
The Vision of Saint Eustace
Pisanello
about 1438-42
The Death of Actaeon
Titian
about 1559-75

 
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