Title: The Artist’s Dog, Fleche
Artist: Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901)
Although best known for his unforgettable portrayals of the performers of the Moulin Rouge, French master Toulouse-Lautrec also created a number of animal portraits throughout his dynamic yet brief career. Demonstrating through his works, a deep affinity for dogs and horses, beginning when only a teenager. For Flèche seen above was created while the 17 year old artist still lived on the large estate of his father, the Comte de Toulouse-Lautrec, who was an avid sportsman and hunter. A role that his son Henri could never assume because of the physical condition that already prevented him from walking normally.
Around this time, Toulouse-Lautrec also depicted at least two other canine friends: Dun, a stately setter and Margot, a petite terrier. What pedigree is Flèche (meaning arrow in English)? Is he a spaniel, or perhaps a hound? Yet, whatever his pedigree, Flèche makes the ideal model, posing perfectly for his young owner, even oblivious of what might normally be the distraction of a nearby hen.
In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
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