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Audio Guide - Child

Still Life with Dog, ca. 1650

Artist: Attributed to Pieter Boel, Flemish, 1622 - 1674

Medium: Oil on canvas

Painting: 33 1/8 x 40 in. (84.1 x 101.6 cm)
Frame: 41 5/8 x 48 1/2 in. (105.7 x 123.2 cm)

Credit Line: Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Morrie A. Moss

Object Number: 59.2

On View

Count F. Robiano, Brussels; Neville D. Goldsmid, the Hague; Etienne Martin, Baron de Beurnonville, Paris; Frederick Mont, Inc., New York, New York, 1955; Newhouse Galleries, New York, New York, 1958 (1955?); Mr. and Mrs. Morrie A. Moss, Memphis, Tennessee, 1959

Pieter Boel was apprenticed to Frans Snyders and under his influence became an excellent draftsman and painter of animals, flowers, and fruit.  In 1668, Boel moved to Paris and became a court painter to Louis XIV.  He also worked for the Gobelin tapestry factory, creating meticulous animal drawings with life-like postures and exquisite textures. These gained him a reputation as one of the most outstanding animal painters of the period in northern Europe.


Still Life with Dog exhibits both Flemish and Dutch qualities.  The profound feeling for reality and the humble things of life found in much Dutch painting contrasts with the more theatrical approach of Flemish still life in the seventeenth century.  Dutch influence is evident in the inclusion of the splendid flower arrangement, while the lavish display of fruit is typically Flemish.  Boel also continues use of the disguised symbolism characteristic of Netherlandish painting since the fifteenth century.  The small dog and the plum are symbols of marital fidelity; the peach is a Christian symbol of the virtue of silence, and the prominent pomegranate symbolizes the many people who form the Church.  From Roman mythology, the statuette of Venus represents love and fertility.