Thursday, June 20, 2013


I am currently reading a very good book called, 'The Dog, 5000 years of the dog in art' by Tamsin Pickeral. So far so good, I am reading it as part of my research in hopes to benefit my project in fourth year. I think it is best when creating art to go back to the beginning so you can move forward in the future. No matter what medium you are using whither it is painting, photography, printmaking, est. there is always something new to learn.
This painting, 'Diogenes' by Jean-Leon Gerome is one of the first that stuck out to me. Below is a description of the painting taken from 500 years of the dog in art.

"This nineteenth-century work by the master French master Gerome depicts in a wonderfully realistic manner a motley group of shaggy street dogs, each with its own character. Surrounding the figure of Diogenes in his barrel, these seem to be actual dogs: no doubt the artist was alluding to the large number of semi-feral dogs that populated the streets of the ancient world. The painting portrays Diogenes of Sinope, who was the most famous and colourful figure of an ancient Greek sect of philosophers known as the Cynics. Their beliefs, in the broadcast of terms, involved a return to simplicity and a rejection of the comforts of material life, and they used shocking tactics to display their ideals ostentatiously. 
Diogenes, for example, allegedly lived like a dog in all bodily was, and praised the moral virtues of the dog. Accordingly, the word 'cynic' derives from the Greek word kunikos, meaning doglike, and kuon, meaning dog. later the term 'cynic' was used to mean 'faultfinder' (Cynics pointed out the faults in others), while today it describes a person distrustful of sincerity or scornful of other." 
 -'The Dog, 5000 Years of The Dog in Art by Tamsin Pickeral

Isn't it nice to learn something new?!

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