Throughout the ages, artists have frequently depicted dogs as symbols of positive values such as courage, loyalty, and vigilance. Whether serving as guards, guides, companions, or hunters, dogs have a very strong presence in the great artworks at the Louvre. They appear in the form of Mesopotamian statuettes of the third millennium BC; they flank peasants in Le Nain’s paintings, or sit loyally at the queen’s side in Rubens’s The Coronation. They may be portrayed as active, accompanying Diana the Huntress, or pampered, as cherished lap dogs nestled on cushions.This beautiful volume is packed with works from all of the Louvre’s many departments. Each painting or sculpture is shown in its entirety and in detail, to highlight the canine presence, and is accompanied by short, illuminating commentary. The book opens with a preface in which the prize-winning author draws upon his own personal experiences with man’s most loyal companions. Dogs in the Louvre provides a delightfully unusual tour of the most visited gallery in the world, and invites the reader to engage in a fresh way with some of its perennially inspiring themes. It is a fitting tribute to man’s best friend.
Francois Nourissier is a celebrated French novelist and President of the Academie Goncourt. He has contributed to many newspapers as a literary critic. He was awarded the Grand Prix du roman de la ville de Paris and the Jean Giono prize for his novels. Elisabeth Foucart-Walter is Chief Curator of the Painting Department at the Louvre. She co-wrote Painted Cat (Rizzoli, 1988), with Pierre Rosenberg.