23 December 2022

A man and his dog

A painting by Antonio Rotta (1828 - 1903)
Antonio Rotta is notable for his mythological subjects and genre paintings. He was a student at the Accademia di Belli Arti in Venice and was one of the first classical genre painters. His disciplined training in academic schooling, and the use of commonplace subjects made his oeuvre very popular during his lifetime. His work was exhibited in Europe and the United States. He won a medal at the Paris Salon, 1878.
Via Miss Folly, where this is entitled The Old Man and his Best Friend? (I don't know if that's the artist's title for the piece).

Reposted from 2012 to incorporate a better image of the painting (via).


  1. The figure might be down-at-heel, but that's a classy bit of furniture. Someone somewhere paid a bit for that.

  2. So did the dog bite his master's hand or what?


  3. What an amazing painting! Does anyone know if this is displayed somewhere or what the original name is? I would love to have a print / poster of this framed on the wall.

    1. I couldn't find anything more with a search this morning, Mza. Perhaps you could write/email one of the places that sells reproductions/prints and they could search their sources for you.

    2. Mza.....were you ever able to find a print of this painting? I'm on that quest!

  4. I found something - not much - the original painting name seems to have been Il Cacciatore (The Hunter). There's a very small blurb about it on this site - http://www.bta.it/txt/a0/05/bta00565.html.

    It's the 4th paragraph down under the bold subhead Ottocento Veneziano (Nineteenth Century Venetian - there's also a thumbnail of the painting to the right of the paragraph). If your browser doesn't do it automatically, here is a loose translation:

    "...In contrast is the realism proposed by 'The Hunter' by Antonio Rotta. This is achieved through the delicate concentration and definition of color, creating an authentic lighting effect in keeping with the tenets of Venetian Realism."

  5. Wow he was incredibly skilled.

  6. Here is the text of attorney George Vest's closing argument on behalf of Old Drum’s "best friend."

    Gentlemen of the jury, the best friend a man has in this world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter whom he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us—those whom we trust with our happiness and good name—may become traitors in their faith. The money that a man has he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads. The one absolute, unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world—the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous—is his dog.

    Gentlemen of the jury, a man's dog stands by him in prosperity and poverty, in health and sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow, and the snow drives fiercely, if only he can be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer; he will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounter with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.

    If fortune drives the master forth an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him to guard against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes the master in its embrace, and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by his graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even to death.

  7. A photo of the painting http://www.archiviodellacomunicazione.it/sicap/Fotografie/65978/?WEB=MuseiVE


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