18 April, 23:00

Marie Antoinette's little dog in Delamarre's paintings

Marie Antoinette's little dog in Delamarre's paintings
Do you know cases when pets became objects of admiration so much that famous artists painted their portraits? Probably, there will be more than one example. This list includes paintings depicting the dog Pompon, a favorite of Queen Marie Antoinette. 

This little creature was painted by the famous French artist Jacques Barthélemy Delamarre. The Cavalier King Charles spaniel was depicted in portraits at least four times: four almost identical oil paintings by the animal artist are known. An aristocratic pet named Pompon sits obediently on the table, and next to him is an inkwell with a pen and a letter to make it clear how tiny this dog is. 
It is known that the artist painted animals. And Marie-Antoinette's favorite is quite a few, slightly changing the composition, size and details of the paintings. However, art historians have some doubts about the fact that it was Pompon who was commissioned by the queen. There is no confirmed information about this. 

However, this did not prevent Delamarra's paintings from going under the hammer in different years at famous auctions. One of the portraits was sold in Berlin at the Bassenge auction for almost €20,000 in 2016. In May 2023, another similar version went under the hammer at the Sotheby's auction in New York. Almost $280,000 was paid for the painting. 
Art historians believe that these works should be in the Louvre or at least the Musée Carnaval in Paris, which store many objects from the 18th century. But the paintings, more likely, ended up in private collections. 


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