History Of Pet Portraits And Paintings

It can’t be denied that pets are like best friends- always loving and supporting you back unconditionally, pick you up when you are in a slump, stand up for you and protect you!

So obviously, it doesn’t come off as a surprise that these portraits are often treated with royalty and class. Yes, we are talking about portraits of your dog, cat or horses. Let us look back at how it all started.

History of Pet Art

About 10,000 years ago, we were able to have our first domesticated animal- Dogs which were shortly followed by cats in Egypt. Ever since then, these canine friends have stayed along with us and the love for them has made some great artists like Picasso draw them on canvas and immortalize them forever.

Expectedly, there has been an overwhelming presence of our canine counterparts in the artistic heritage. An early example – Marriage of Arnolfini Portrait circa 1434,has a fluffy little dog standing up in the front of the painting. Pets in that age were a sign of royalty as most of these dogs were not working dogs but actually companion dogs who enjoyed the luxury of upper-class.

Around mid-1800s, when the new middle class emerged due to the industrial revolution, people were able to afford pets. Birds were the most popular choice at that time due to their ease of maintenance and loveliness. Around the 1900s, it became a popular trend to have commissioned portraits with your pet dogs, cats or birds. Hence, we are able to see many such portraits today which are some fine examples of pet portraits.

Art has always been seen as a depiction of life; hence the presence of pets cannot go unnoticed and was captured in the essence of these paintings.