Lucian Freud’s Whippets

Lucian Freud often used dogs in his portraits painting them lying alongside his human subjects. Freud’s own Whippets, Pluto and Pluto’s great, great-niece, Eli, even appear as the main subjects of some paintings.

The artist explained his love of working with dogs like this: “I am impressed by their lack of arrogance, their ready eagerness, their animal pragmatism.” He strove to have his
human subjects look as relaxed and natural as his animal ones.

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s A Friend in Need

This iconic painting is one of a series of 16 oil paintings, they were commissioned in 1903 by Brown & Bigelow to advertise cigars. Coolidge’s paintings are often simply called “Dogs Playing Poker,”. Despite his obscurity, Coolidge was quite creative.

He is also credited with inventing comic foregrounds that people could stand in front of to take photos like “Fat Man in a Bathing Suit.” Coolidge also painted them doing other activities like playing baseball and arguing in court.

Picasso and Lump

Picasso’s relationship with his Dachshund named Lump was described as a “love affair” by his photographer friend, David Duncan. Originally Duncan’s dog, Lump accompanied Picasso’s house on April 19th, 1957 .

Picasso had many dogs but Lump was the only one he would hold and feed from his hands. The artist once described Lump as indefinable: “Lump, he’s not a dog, he’s not a little man, he’s somebody else.” The pup died just ten days before Picasso, on March 29th, 1973.

Keith Haring’s Dancing Dogs

Keith Haring gained fame by posting his art in public spaces, including subways in New York City. Dancing dogs appear repeatedly in his work, and have become one of his most recognized trademarks.

Haring’s dogs are notably human-like as they dance on two legs, but, when they appear alongside human forms, they are portrayed as significantly larger.

Charles Schulz and Snoopy

Charles Schulz’s had a childhood dog, Spike and who served as the inspiration for Snoopy had a habit of eating unusual things.

When Schulz was 15, he drew a picture of Spike and sent it to Ripley’s Believe It or Not!. In the letter he described how Spike had ingested pins, tacks, and razor blades whole but yet seemed to be in perfect health. While Spike was a pointer and not a beagle like Snoopy. His white coat and black ears are reminiscent of the much-loved character.