Portraits of aristocrats with dogs' heads
July 16, 2009 6:46 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to identify a painter who did portraits of aristocrats with dogs' heads in place of their own.

I know there is a contemporary Belgian painter, one Thierry Poncelet, who is doing this type of work. I believe I once ran across an older (English?) painter who did this type of portraiture a couple centuries ago. Does this ring a bell?
posted by treyka to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I know this is not exactly what you are looking for, but I believe some of this work stems from the icon of St. Christopher with a dog head.
posted by mattbucher at 7:48 AM on July 16, 2009

Best answer: There are two people that I can think of who you might be thinking of:

1) J. J. Grandville a French illustrator see here or here.

2) Lebrun did something a little different, he thought that:

Physiognomy is literally the "knowlege of nature," and it relates to the assessment of human character through the study of physical features. Charles Le Brun [(1619-1690)First Painter to the King Louis XIV and the founder of the Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture] formally presented his hypothesis which states, more-or-less, that the natural inclinations of individual humans can be determined by their physical resemblance to certain animals. In other words, a man who has a face like that of a lion's may naturally exhibit serenity, courage, and ferocity, while an ox-faced man would possess both strength and obstinacy.

Some of his images looked like this, this or this.
posted by multivalent at 10:05 AM on July 16, 2009

Best answer: Also there was quite a bit of novelty taxidermy that the Victorians loved.

Here, for instance is a kittens' tea party.

There were also squirrels playing billiards in smoking jackets and what have you - but I don't want to have to look at more images!
posted by multivalent at 10:14 AM on July 16, 2009

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