The Re­nais­sance dog

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Dogs played a vi­tal role in Re­nais­sance art. Most artists of the pe­riod were de­pen­dent on com­mis­sions from aris­to­cratic pa­trons, who of­ten held dogs in high re­gard ei­ther for their com­pan­ion­ship or for their skill at hunt­ing. Dogs ap­pear in in­nu­mer­able re­li­gious paintings as well as in por­traits and al­le­gor­i­cal works. The dog is the most dom­i­nant fea­ture, for ex­am­ple, of di Cosimo’s Satyr Mourn­ing over a Nymph ( above, about 1495)

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