Putting the Lowchen in the Picture

Putting the Lowchen in the Picture.

by Irene Bilney © 18 January 2010.

I tallied up that over the past 575 years artists who have executed well over 80 art works in which there is an overtly Lowchen presence - in many eras and various media, artists have done just that - put the Lowchen right in the picture. Let's go together for a stroll through my Lowchen “galleria” and delight in our delightful dogs – the Lowchens.

Lowchens in Art 1435 - 2010

When a breed of dog becomes one's cherished companion – collecting copies of “images” of your breed seems to naturally follow – as does rifling through publications to find those images. It, therefore, follows that some of you may be familiar with some of this material already. Seemingly for centuries both Lowchen art and literature have been put “out there” for the pleasure of others – including us - as posterity. Let's enjoy some Lowchen portraits together – it's a very full “kennel”. It seems obvious that a stage developed in people-dog relationships in which canines were regarded so especially as to warrant being no longer just included in portraits but were to become the “sitter” and the subject of the portrait. I have compiled a listing of those Lowchens who “sat” (not on command - you understand) but to have their images captured for us to enjoy – as well as the many Lowchens who shared a canvas.

21st Century (to 2010)

Were you one of the lucky ones last year to receive a limited edition copy of the “2009 Lowchen little Lion Dog Calendar.”- UK for their 4Oth year celebrations? Created by Deidre Ashdown there's a mere dozen vibrantly beautiful paintings. As I lived through last year I experienced an enjoyable encounter – on the first day of each month - with yet another adorable dog to meet – just breathtakingly superb – and skittishly Lowchenish. The sequence was as follows for

Jan. -“Snow Lowchens”;

Feb. -“Valentine Lowchens”;

March -“Get ready for Crufts – (after Velasquez”Toilet of Venus”);

April -“Easter Lowchens”;

May -“May Queen”;

June -“Lowchens and Roses”;

July -“On the Beach”;

Aug. -“Picnic”;

Sept. -“Harvest Festival”;

Oct. -“Halloween”;

Nov. -“Autumn Lowchens”;

Dec. -“Christmas Lowchens”; and for the

Cover – “[A Lowchen brace lay claim to the 40th birthday cake for the club]”. 2009 Copyright UK Lowchen (Little Lion Dog) Club. I predict this will gain the status of “collector's item” - especially the canvasses from which the calendar was compiled. If you wanted to test your luck that one may still be available try www.the lowchenclubuk.com. The colourfully, whimsical works of art which Deidre created focus on the Lowchen – in centre frame. My dogs know there is no other place to be designated to a Lowchen.

With the exception of Diedre's wonderful works – and I am talking art – not pretty pictures - I have little to offer as I failed to find other modern art works which include Lowchen images.

Lowchens in Art in the C20 and Art in Cyberspace

The most recent developments that I am aware of re Lowchens in art centre on presentation in cyber art galleries and catalogues. Some of it is superbly and academically sensitively presented. Like it or lump it we live in an era of computerisation. Let's just forget the downside (just for now) because the world wide web has in many ways made the world a smaller but so much richer place. Now it is feasible, on a global scale, to tap into what Lowchen lovers have to share – stuff about our beloved breed. Some breeders have created “art galleries” in cyberspace. I will list a few which you may like to visit. My introduction to Lowchens in art was via SilesianCramer - from continental Europe. Their gallery houses an extensive collection of Lowchen-centred art works - very beautifully arrayed with an academically astute presentation. Need I say I think it is the best of its kind. To visit a Lowchen gallery and delight in discovering Lowchens in Art go there. You may enjoy 28 reproductions of works from C15, C16, C17-C19 with works by Durer and de Goya, also, featured. There are tapestries, woodblocks, illuminations, and paintings, among the collection. Works are representative of England, Flanders, France, Geneva, Italy, Netherlands, and Poland - continental Europe – the suspected origin for the breed. The site offers a wondrous wealth of works. They are the works by Vecelli Tiziano, Sebastian Vranex, M. Jaroczynski, Lucas Cranach the Elder, Jan Brueghal, Gonzales Coques, Giovan Pietro Birago, Gillis Mostaat, Adrian Brouuer, but several are attributed to Anon and there is an excerpt from a Book of Hours. It shows the Lowchen-inclusive art of religion, portraits and the daily round of common life. See http://www.silesiancramer.com/art/index.htm..

There are other interesting galleries created on sites by Bumit, Lapunk and Tripel.

The net enables access to commercial studios as well and I located Lowchens in Encore, 1st Art Gallery and My Studio catalogues.

I have incorporated references to works from these place in my printed gallery of little-lions in art which I have compiled. I shall try to list the web sites for each of the collections in case you wish to do “a grand tour”. (I aimed for accuracy but I am not very computer savvy so please forgive any slip ups).


The Lowchen at Court.

1900S, 1771, 1573-1627, 1552, 1514, 1484 -1500

We are allowed glimpses of the Courtly life with Lowchens in works of the 1900S, 1771, 1573-1627, 1552, 1514, 1484 -1500, but not in that sequence. As recently as the 1900s we may view a Polish courtly copperplate representation of Princess from Opel with Lowchen by M. Jaraczynski. (See Silesiancramer web gallery). Entertaining on the grand scale at court was recorded in 1771 by Domenico Tiepolo in “Giambattista's fresco of the reception of the Emperor Henry III at the Villa Contarini in Linda Wolk-Simon” Lowchens being among the “guests”. (See The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 54 no. 3 Winter 1996/7. p. 13) [To help make sense of this - Domenico and Giambattista belonged to the same family – both artists – one retrospectively presenting to the art-viewing public the accomplishment of another family member because “The most brilliant and sought after painter in C18 was Giovanni Battista Tiepola (1696-1770) (Kalstone,p, 242)]. No less sumptuous is the “Wedding ball for the Duc de Joyeuse” painted in oil by an unknown artist in about 1552. As usual now – seems it was usual then - there could be no show without a “little lion” (See Silesiancramer web gallery). I just love the rich regality of Princess Catherine/Katharina of Mecklenberg and her bold-as-brass perky Lowchen companion - painted in 1514 by Lucas Cranach the Elder. (The portrait dog p. 118Ref*) I wonder if Katharine held as much sway in life as from her canvas. The work is executed so beautifully she must have beguiled that artist. She certainly fired Shirley Kalstone to note that she is “regally costumed with three jewelled necklaces and eight rings on her fingers, [and] poses beside her little lion dog” (See Silesiancramer web gallery & in The Portrait of the Dog p. 18, & Kalstone p. 245). The English oil painting of The life and death of Sir Henry Unton could only be a memorial to the man. Seems a very busy painting and a trite boring. I wonder what he was like? At least there was a Lowchen in the picture – guaranteed to relieve boredom. (See Silesiancramer web gallery). In paintings and other art works of the time we may glimpse three aspects of a rich person's dog's life : at court, at work, and in the pack – but more of that later.

For the time being let's visit the sumptuous court of her ladyship. For medieval nobility Lowchens were one of the many breeds accepted as Court dogs. Courtly life-styles were woven into the tapestries of the times. You may view a tapestry from 1700s via the. Web. It is labelled “early” - but that is relative. (See Silesiancramer web gallery). There were earlier Lowchens woven into the fabrics of the nobility who peopled the courts. The best known and richest tapestries to embrace a Lowchen companion are “The Lady and the Unicorn”. The most authorative book and beautiful book, I found, about these hangings is by Pierre Verlet and Francis Salet (1961). Kalstone refers to the hangings briefly in her chapter in the 1983 AKC publication (1983) which she accompanies artistically with a dog detailled (pp. 274-5). You wonder why I have told you of a couple of venues for viewing these tapestries – they are just superb and such entrancing examples of the weavers' craft bestowing their skilled workmanship on two very aristocratic little lion dogs. Life for the Lowchen “with my lady” is most beautifully preserved in these arras – wall tapestries - the décor of the day – to keep out the draughts – and incidentally decorate. In 1841 a series of six Gothic Flemish tapestries were found in Boussac castle . They now hang in the Hotel de Cluny section of the Museuem of the National Gallery of the Middle Ages, France. They were worked in wool and silk between 1484 and 1500 and originated from the Netherlands. Five of these hangings focus on the senses: taste, sight, touch, smell and hearing. Two of the tapestries include Lowchens - nos 1 & 6. (Verlet p. 18 & facing, p. 22 & facing). In his book about the tapestries Verlet writes of “the little dog, the Lady's cherished pet, which she always forgives no matter how badly it behaves: here (in the first tapestry: Taste) it sits on the train of her gown: there (in the sixth tapestry: “A Mon Seul Desir”) it has made itself comfortable on the brocade cushion covering a stool” (p. 33). The sixth arras depicts a lady and her maid-servant gazing upon a necklace while a rampant unicorn and a little lion dog gaze on them. With the title: “To my only desire” there is undoubtedly some loving longing lurking? [She's got a Lowchen how could she long for more? ] This is definitely favoured time “at court” time for the little dog. Why don't you have a take a peep at these tapestries @http://www,musee-moyenage.fr/ang/home/id20393-u112.htm

1573- 1627

But the dogs had down-time spent “with the pack” or “in kennel” in the care of the dwarfs. In the painting of “A dwarf with Medici dogs” by the artist: Tiberio di Tito (1573-1627) he puts a Lowchen right in the middle of the scene (Bowron p. 15). This painting reveals the behind the scenes life for the man appointed as master of the lord's kennel – a dwarf with his canine charges. “In the Middle Ages, monkeys and dwarfs were both considered sub-human and were kept chained at the sides of the rich noblemen to provide amusement for the court. Peter the Great and Catherine de Medici had dwarfs in barns, like dogs in kennels, trying to find the perfect strain of dwarf playmates for the royal family.” (Bowles p.612). Reading of such treatment alerts us to a sadly stratified societal role for the kennel attendants and breeders of “mi lord's hounds and mi lady's lap dogs”. (Bowron pp.14). It was doubtless a deplorable deployment but it gave rise to a third facet of court life for Lowchens as “merrymakers”.

Lowchens As Merrymakers

1890 & 1774.

I came across two paintings of Lowchens as “merrymakers” - one fairly ancient – the other reasonably modern. I suspect that Lowchens were chosen as companion entertainers because of their comedic character, dexterity and training potential. I discovered two only with the dogs on the job - to give a giggle. One is clearly part of an historical past from the brush of Domenico Tiepolo in 1774. The Lowchens and the dwarf court jesters are captured “at play” for the merriment of the nobility - their “betters” or retainers .

The recent merry makers I found on canvas are “A Circus Trio” of “Petit Chien De Lion Lowchen” painted in 1890 by Charles van den Eycken. These Lowchens do not appear to be “in clip” and they are accompanied by their trouper's attire for the ring. (Secord 2000 p. 118 & Encore's webcat.). In my experience - “entertaining” seems to be a natural attribute of a Lowchen and with some training to help - it became a role for the breed which has persisted down centuries. Frivolity and fun is a natural Lowchen trait - but at different times it became a task entrusted to the breed - as an economic consideration. So over centuries the Lowchen has been no less than a working dog – literally earning a “keep” for itself and its trainer in the courts of the rich, for circus clowns, or for street comedians.

In 1774 Domenico Tiepolo (1772-1804) captured on his canvas “Two Dwarfs” romping with five Lowchens (Bulletin. Metropolitan Museum of Art. v. 53-54 (1995-1997) p. 13). Lowchens accompanied later “comedians” or served as the “clown's” dog.

People in Portraits with Lowchen

1783-1814, 1739-1743

“The Portrait Dog” is a term I have purloined from Tansin Pickeral (p. 114). It is very apt for the treatment of the Lowchen in paintings by Francisco de Goya. Between 1783 and 1814 Goya, then, included a Lowchen as an adjunct to the portraits of three individuals and one family group. It seems Maria Teresa de Borbon y Vallabriga was the first sitter to have Lowchen company. He then painted a Lowchen into the grouping of the Osuna family – obviously the children's pet. Goya is best remembered by Lowchen lovers for his study of the Duchess of Alba. The one he did of her with a Lowchen. I believe he left his best till last in the portrait of the two young women going about their business with a letter - and accompanied by a Lowchen (See Hughes pp. 113,119,158, 349 & webgalleries of Tripel & Silesiancramer).

Before Goya got going on his Lowchen-inclusive portraiture a Lowchen had been painted into“ The family of Philip V” by. 1739/1743 Louis-Michel van Loo (around the late 1730s.). (sorry - have mislaid the ref for this!)

What was the point of putting a dog in the picture? It was there to make a point - to point up the [tarnished?] character of the sitter and simultaneously to exemplify canine virtuosity “ to be faithful, happy to follow her master and totally subservient”. (Pickeral p. 81).

A Lowchen In the Lap of the Gods?


I did not anticipate finding such a work as Diana and Actaeon: an oil on canvas by the Italian artist Vecilli Tiziano in 1559. I am ignorant about the contents of this frame. Mythology I suppose? Looks like there is bawdy revelry afoot - but whether that pertains to mortals or the “gods” I haven't a clue. Anyway - wouldn't you know it? There's a Lowchen is in the thick of it? You'll have to see Silesiancramer web gallery and see if you can work it out.

Lowchens in Secular Lives.

1640, 1600s,1573-1647. 1492-1502

In due time the Lowchens of the art world introduced us to the lives of ordinary folks as they busied themselves with the common tasks of study, relaxing and feasting. Both the “Young scholar and his wife” are grave people. Learning can be hard work and looking after the “learner” can be a lonely life. That is part of what I see in the 1640 canvas from the Netherlands by Gonzales Coques. Was the Lowchen her companion in the hours while he studied? No matter - the little dog has found a comfortable spot; has curled up and is about to settle for a nap (See Silesiancramer web gallery). About the beginning of the 1600s we are introduced by Adriaen Brouwer to some folk who take their recreation seriously “The card players”. These chaps are oblivious that a little Lowchen is in the room. They are very intent on their decks – so are their observers. Maybe there is money at stake in this oil from Flanders? (See Silesiancramer web gallery).

Dining is obviously enjoyable for the guests at the “Banquet under wide sky” - a Flemish painting by Sebastian Vrancx between 1573-1647. That Lowchen must be either a well-fed or a well-trained dog – it seems disinterested in the table, diners or food. Just going about doggie business- as Lowchens do. (See Silesiancramer web gallery).

Since reading to write this I have learned there are Durer works of which I was ignorant. I am indebted to the SilesianCramer for their collection of Durer's other-than-religious works. I'm unsure if one or two members of the Durer family sourced these artworks. There were two family members with Albrecht as a given name – an elder and a younger – I'll have to check this out in future research – but for now a deadline is looming. In secular life Drurer immortalised the simple folks as well as the nobility in his woodcuts in his works between 1492 and 15902. We are given glimpses into the lives of two knights - one on his steed and the other attended by a foot soldier. We see a man on pilgrimage and a street encounter between two young gallants. We are introduced to a Knight and Lasquenet, Jean Chalier and Terences Andria. To capture a young couple on horse back Durer employed pen and watercolour. The medium matters not to each of the little Lowchens who attend the daily round and common tasks depicted by Durer. (Strauss, pp. 102-3 & 134-5 and see SilsianCramer & Tripel websites).

Lowchens in Church

1604, 1508,1455-60,1496-1504, 1489-90

Jan Brueghel, in about 1604, painted a madonna and child and animals. It is a Flemish work after Durer – based on one of his engravings – including the Lowchen (See Silesiancramer web gallery).

In 1508 an unknown artist made an oil painting of the “Martyrdom of the ten thousand” in which a Lowchen was at the scene to witness the sight (See Silesiancramer web gallery).

There is a Crucifixion from Geneva painted in 1460. The Lowchen is keeping an eye on the soldiers who are casting lots for the robe of the crucified. (See Silesiancramer web gallery).

The pious literature of France yielded a Book of Hours from 1455-69. I, usually, luxuriate in looking at illuminated prayer books. However this one would be useless for me. I'd never get through my daily prayers if there was a Lowchen on the page (See Silesiancramer web gallery).

Durer included Lowchens in five Christian devotional scenes. In his religious works for the church. Durer's devotional art practically makes a precis of the epic biblical story of the life of Jesus - from conception to near death – and mostly carved in strong lines into wood. There is the meeting between the two expectant mums – Elizabeth and Mary. This is followed by a gentle watercolour, ink and pen study of Mary nursing a wriggling toddler who is intrigued by the throng of animals around their “throne”. I suspect he wants to get down and play. The remaining scenes are gouged from wood blocks to record the passion scenes of the trial before Caiaphas, the flagellation and Christ's carrying of the cross. Durer executed these works between 1496 and 1504 – not sequentially. Each devotional Durer event includes a dog – a Lowchen. (See Strauss 304-5, Strieder 200-1, Strauss 358-9, 144-5 & 212-3). It seems Durer worked on both the religious and the secular series within the same timeframe. In his era the later segregation between religious belief and earthly life style could never have been envisaged. Durer never featured Lowchens in his works but he certainly “painted” them into the fabric of all his artistic commentary. Little lion dogs are certainly a prevalent presence in his art which makes me suspect either Lowchens were plentiful at that period or did Durer have one – a favourite he just couldn't resist including?

Another cause for speculation. I wonder - might Pontifical Janos Vitez, Bishop of Veszpan possibly be the visit of a papal nuncio? It is the work of Giovan Pietro Birago in 1489-90 and there is a an Italian language barrier here for me. But I have looked – knowingly. It is ceremony and it is catholic. It is not a consecration of bishops. There are candidates – but they are only clad in surplices. It may be an ordination of clerics or young bloods being initiated into the bottom of the clerical pile as deacons – I just don't know. I do know it is all happening within a mass – and the Lowchen is going to get up to mischief – within the sanctuary – of all places. If I am any good at “reading a dog” that Lowchen believes (as do all little Lowchen) “the better the place the better the deed.” (See Silesiancramer web gallery).

The Lowchen in Death

(?-1340-?) -

In the days of heraldic lives and deaths Lowchens served after death - their images were immortalised in brasses on the tombs of their deceased human family. “During the Renaissance, artists and craftsmen were mainly concerned with men and women, and dogs often accompany humans in that period's statuary. A dog frequently appeared at a woman's feet to symbolize affection and fidelity, while a lion generally sat at a man's feet to denote manliness and bravery” (Kalstone p. 270). A less-than-successful crusading knight may have been monumentally denied a lion but awarded a lion dog (or some other variety of lap dog). “It is these lap dogs which once again emphasise the continuity of human life and behaviour.... The association between man and his dogs has always been close enough in life to be carried on into death” (Beedell 55). Figuratively “Till death do us part” did not apply to the lap dogs in general and Lowchens in particular. This aspect of the Lowchen's place in the household is briefly explained in The Atlas of Dog Breeds of the World (Wilcox p. 585). “If brasses are anything to judge by, dogs were as popular as pets and companions then as now” (Kalstone p. 270). From my thumbing through books on brass rubbings many knights are entombed with the king of the beast while a lesser male (or more appropriately his lady) may rest with a lap dog.

It was my good fortune to find a small rubbing from a brass for “Lady Henry & Lady Redford 1370AD Broughton Lincolnshire England” – rubbed in the recent years of the early 20th century – a lap dog supports her ladyship. I am still to find a Lowchen performing this final death duty – there wasn't one within the books at my disposal.

I am told Lowchens “attended” graves in memorial masonry- I haven't located those stone Lowchens yet. Bixler mentions Lowchens on a tomb in Amiens cathedral - so far their fact, form, and dates elude me. (Bixler, May 2003, p. 36).

Over 500 years of Portraited Lowchens

The centuries seem, to me, to be peppered with actual portraits of our lovely dogs – the Lowchens. There are so many I am merely going to list the works, their creators and from where I sourced each work. For convenience I will compile them into century lots (a bit haphazardly).

1900s - C20

1900s Paul de Lamerie /La Merie/ Lamarie. Lowchen on a Table with a Quill. - Secord 1992, pp. 246 & 349 pl. 210.

1900s M. Jaraczynski. Anna Orzelska. Princess from Opel with Lowchen, Copperplate.– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1800s - C19

1890 van den Eycken. Charles . A Circus Trio. Petit Chien De Lion Lowchen – Secord 2000 p. 118, see Encore's webcatalogue.

1887 Van Den Eycken, Charles. In the artist's studio. - Secord 2000, p. 118.

1872 Louis-Charles Bombled. Doux “ most likely a Chien de Lion” - Secord 2000 pp. 117/8 pl. 147.

19th century. Conradijin. Cunaeus. Chien de Lion. “It is often difficult to determine the breed of dog depicted in many C19 paintings, and if this dog were not clipped in a characteristic … cut, we might think it was a Maltese”[Lowchen on red chair ] -Secord, 2000 pl. 145 p. 116 - see Tripel webgallery.

1865 Berjeau 1865. This slight volume contains impressions of “little lion dogs' by seven different artists spanning 175 years (1440-1575).

1820 little Lion Dog in Ree's Cyclopaedia – couldn't find the original but See Collier opp. p. 182 or UK Kennel Club (1989) see p. 310. Refer also to 1615.

1812-14c Goya –The Young Ones/The Letter - Hughes p.349, see Tripel webgallery.

1887 Van Den Eycken, Charles. In the artist's studio.- Secord, 2000. p. 118.

1872 Louis-Charles Bombled. Doux “ most likely a Chien de Lion” - Secord 2000 p. 117/8? pl. 147.

1800s De Bree, Anton. (Dutch/English) Sepia print of Portrait of a Lowchen/Petit de Chion. – see Encore webcatalogue.

1700s - C18

1798 Buffon - “Le chien and Le bichon” in Buffon's – Histoire naturalle.

1793 Goya – Duchess of Alba (Hughes p.158). See Silesiancramer webgallery & Tripel webgallery.

1790c. French school. The Pointer's Dream. –“dates from the eighteenth century when Chien de Lions were very popular” French School. The pointer's dream.- Secord 2000 p. 117 pl. 146.

1788 Goya – The family of the Duke of Osuna - Hughes p.119 see Tripel webgallery.

1783 Goya – Maria Teresa de Borbon y Vallabriga - Hughes p.113 – See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1774 Tiepolo, Domenico (1772-1804). “Two Dwarfs” [romping with 5 Lowchens] Bulletin. Metropolitan Museum of Art. v. 53-54 (1995-1997) p. 13- his dates from Drawings and Etchings by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo [p.11].

1771 Domenico Tiepolo. Giambattista's fresco of the reception of the Emperor Henry III at the Villa Contarini in Linda Wolk-Simon. Domenico Tiepolo's drawings , prints, and paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 54 no. 3 Winter 1996/7. p. 13.

1746-1842 Goya, = Francisco de Goya - See Goya (See Hughes).

1743 ca. Tiepolo, Domenico. (1727- 1804) “Three dogs after Paolo Veronese “. [I believe these maybe smootchen] Bulletin. Metropolitan Museum of Art. v. 53-54 (1995-1997) p. 13. Bulletin. Metropolitan Museum of Art. v. 53-54 (1995-1997) p. 13. for Smootchens see Lowchenworld – articles – by Cath Horn. See Lowchenworld website for access.

1739/1743 Louis-Michel van Loo. The family of Philip V. (van Loo 1707-1771) - sorry lost reference.

1700s Tapestry – early C16 French – See Silesiancramer webgallery..

1600s - C17

1667 Richard De Lamarre – mentioned in Denninger 's Lowchen History..

1662c Justus Susterman's. Italian study done for the portrait of Anna de Medici (oil). See Silesiancramer webgallery & Chicchoix website @chiccoix.com/lion-breeding-history.htm.

1640 Gonzales Coques (1618-1684) The young scholar and his wife Netherlands.– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1625-1700 Jan Wick/Wyck. The Lowchen by a Fountain - in catalogue 1st Art Gallery @ www.mystudios.com/art gallery.

1615 Lion dog from the portrait of Dorothy Brereton, Second wife of Sir Walter Leigh of Lyme from “The House of Lyme” by Lady Newton. - Kennel Club 1989, p.310 from Rees via Collier opp p. 182.

1604c Jan Brueghel (1568-1625) Mary and the animals (Flemish) - oil version of Durer's engraving.– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1600c Adriaen Brouwer (1605-1638) The card players – Flanders early C17 oil.– See Silesiancramer webgallery.


1596 The life and death of Sir Henry Unton – English (oil).– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1575 “Joft Ammon in his very curious book on hunting, entitled, Kunstliche wohlergisene neu Figuren von allerlai Jagt Kunst. F.furt 1592 4to”. - See Berjeau,1865 pl. 35 & p.11.

1573-1647 Sebastian Vrancx Banquet under wide sky. Flemish.– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1573- 1627 Tiberio di Tito (Italian) A dwarf with Mediciin Boboli Gardens see Bowron pp. 14-5.

1560 [Lowchen in a down stay] J Hoffer - See Berjeau,1865 pl. 35 -2).

1559 Vecilli Tiziano (Italian -1490-1576) Diana and Actaeon oil on canvas.– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1552c Wedding ball for the Duc de Joyeuse – artist unknown (oil).– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1534-1598 Gillis Mostaert Netherlandish Household (Flemish).– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1518 [Lowchens love to leap] “Burgkmair in the triumph of Maxmillian” - See Berjeau,1865 pl. 23 & p.10.

1514 Lucas Cranach the Elder (1472-1553) Princess Catherine/Katharina of Mecklenberg – See Silesiancramer webgallery & Kalstone p. 245

1508-9 c. Durer. Christ before Caiaphas [woodcut] Strauss, pp. 358-9.

1508 Martyrdom of the ten thousand (oil) – See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1507 [Lowchen on the rampage] Urs Graf aka Gamperlein in Passion “printed by Knoblouch, Strasburg” (See Berjeau,1865 pl. 25 & p. 10).– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1504 c Durer. The Visitation [woodcut] Strauss, pp. 304-5.

1503c Durer Virgin and child with a multitude of animals (pen, ink and watercolour) Strieder pp. 200-1. See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1502 Durer. Jean Charlier As a Pilgrim, Strauss, pp. 102-3.

C15 - 1400s

1498-99 Durer. The Bearing of the Cross, [woodcut] Strauss, pp. 212-3

1496c Durer Young couple on horse book (pen and watercolour) – See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1496c Durer. Knight and Lasquenet. [woodcut]Strauss, pp. 134-5.

1496-7c Durer Knight and foot soldier (woodprint) – See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1496-7 Durer. The Flagellation, [woodcut]Strauss pp. 144-5.

1496 (circa) Durer. Knight and Lasquenet. [woodcut] Strauss, pp. 134-5.

1494 [Lowchen en garde] Bergman von Holpe in the fifth edition of Stultifer Navis (See Berjeau,1865 pl. 8 & pp.8-9).– See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1492 Durer. Drawing from Terences Andria (wood block) – See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1489-90 c Giovan Pietro Birago (Italian) Pontifical Janos Vitez, Bishop of Veszpan – See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1484-1500 Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries . See Lady & Unicorn 1961 Pierre Verlet, and Francis Salet. The Lady and the Unicorn. London: Thames & Hudson. pp. 18 & opp., 22 & opp, 33 & opp., Kalstone p. 274, See Silesiancramer webgallery. & website for the tapestries.

1471-1528 Durer published in Berjeau [Lowchens; (i) [on the alert] from the Flagellation (ii) [tracking] – from the Visitation, (iii) [just keeping an eye on events] – from the Bearing of the Cross] Albert [Albretch] Durer (See Berjeau,1865 title p. & pl. 18 & p.9) and Strauss, 145, 213, 305.

1460 Crucifixion (Geneva) – See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1455-60 Book of Hours (French) – illuminated – See Silesiancramer webgallery.

1440 [Lowchen – stacked itself ] “John van Eyck's terrier. ...National Gallery London.” Maybe some debate here. We use the given name Jan for this artist. The pooch may be an unclipped little lion or a terrier. This work is often referred as the Arnolfini Betrothal or Wedding (See Berjeau,1865 pl. 16 & p.9).

1435c Rogier van der Weyden candelabra detail from The Annunciation c. 1435 (Paris, Louvre). –Hall p. 117 fig 57.

1434 Jan van Eyck (1395-1441) Arnolfini Marriage (Flemish)– See Silesiancramer webgallery.


1427-1502 – life of Albretch Durer see Durer

1370 “Lord Henry and Lady Redford 1370AD Broughton Lincolnshire England.”

Some Elusive Lowchens

This is a listing of Lowchen art pieces for which I have not found conclusive provenance. Two works defy chronological treatment because they are “Un-dated”

A popular portrait of a Lowchen is “The pointers dream.” in oil - its artist is an unknown -See Silesiancramer web gallery

Another artist “unknown” created a scene of a coach and horses - with a Lowchen nearby - See Lapunck webgallery.

I know of three Lowchen designs in “Danish Blue Porcelain” currently available. There could be others. Maybe Delph? I don't profess to know - and I neglected to discover – sorry folks – Plates were my last minute thought. I am ignorant of the pertinent details for such products – dates, signatures, hallmarks. Current prices may be ascertained via the web from the many outlets which stock this ware. They are advertised as “Collectibles” - if you want a Lowchen on a plate. If you are interested to peep at such a product see Encore's webcatalogue. A websearch will yield other stockists.

I need light shed on four references – a book title needed and info re three grand ladies.

William Secord claims “this toy dog [with the quill ] is said to be a favourite of the famous “Madame de Pompadour” (Secord 1992 p.246).

Someone gave me a page – headed “The Lowchen in History from “The world of Toy Dogs” - its source and title are a mystery. There is a picture of one of our breed captioned “A marble statue inherited by John Faber. Believed to be an effigy of a dog owned either by Marie Antoinette or Madam Dubarry. ”

Can anyone help please?

Historical Lowchen Obje D'Art.

Years ago two Aussie friends took the tour to the “old country” to discover whatever Aussies go there to discover. For me they thought they had discovered a Lowchen likeness in the dog in the Arnolfini Wedding portrait (1434) in the National Gallery, London (Hall pl.1). When their postcard arrived I couldn't agree with them about the breed of dog that Jan Van Eyck had painted into the foreground for that Bethrothal – but there it is - on Lowchen breeders' websites and claimed as an example of our breed in art. So I had to rethink my resistance and research the matter. From the reference books I am more convinced than ever it is most likely a terrier. But that was not the end of the matter - in one of those books I spied a pendant metal candelabra. It was photographed in detail from “The Annunciation c. 1435 (Paris, Louvre)”. Centrally cast in the design is a little dog. Is it a Lowchen? I suspect so. (Hall, p. 117 fig 57). So my Arnolfini search paid off.

Are you of a mind to embroider a Lowchen art piece for yourself or posterity? Just teasing. I thought I might - so I imported a counted cross stitch canvas and pattern but so far I haven't threaded a needle – maybe I will do it in my old age – seems Lowchens are taking up my retirement. If you want one go to B. M. Designs on the web. The pattern is just magical – and mindblowing for me at the moment. It is a counted cross stitch pattern: www.bmdesigns.co.uk

If you have read what I wrote about Lowchens in Literature you may remember Buffon and his work: “Histoire naturalle ...”. De Comte Georges Louis Leclare Buffon was an early author about our breed. It seems during his lifetime (1707-1780) Buffon had a shop in London on The Strand – which was visited by a later author who wrote about our breed: John Meyrick, There, in his book of 1861 Meyrick reports a display-drawcard with a difference. Under: House Dogs and Toy Dogs, Meyrick reports in his section about the “lion dog” -“A beautiful stuffed specimen may be seen, by those curious in the points of breed, in the window of Mr Buffon's shop on The Strand. As in most stuffed dogs the face is a good deal distorted. I may observe that this will invariably take place in stuffed specimens, from the shrinking of the nose in the act of drying, unless that part is cut off, and replaced by a nose modelled after the original in properly coloured wax.” (Meyrick, p.76 ). That being so I just had to give the last word about Lowchen Obje D'Art, to John Meyrick. When I compare the dates of these two men – I can easily imagine the young Meyrick lad mesmerised by the display in the window of old Mr. Buffon's shoppe. Can't you? Even though a stuffed Lowchen, to us, is so macabre– at the time it was fashionable and commonplace to taxidermise a specimen creature for display purposes. This is probably the only Lowchen I could confidently say that I should – no would never - be tempted to have as part of my life. Irene Bilney, 18-01-2010.

Bibliography of Art References

AKC's world of the pure-bred dog. Edited by Duncan Barnes and the staff of the American Kennel Club. N.Y.: Howell Book House, c1983.

Albrecht Durer, Paintings, prints, drawings. Translated by N.M. Gordon & W.L. Strauss. N.Y. : Abaris Books c 1981, pp. 200-1.

ASHDOWN, Deidre.“2009 Lowchen little Lion Dog Calendar” Copyright 2009. thelowchenclubuk.

BEEDELL, Suzanne. Brasses and brass rubbing...Edinburgh,: John Bartholmew, c. 1973. pp. 52-5.

BERJEAU, Philbert Charles. The varieties of dogs, as they are found in old sculptures, pictures, engravings, and books. With the names of the artists by whom they are represented, showing how long many of the numerous breeds now exiting have been known. London, John Cambden Hotten 1865. See pp 9-11 and pl. 8, 16, 18, 23, 25 35 & title p. [This slight volume contains impressions of “little lion dogs' by seven different artists spanning 175 years (1440-1575).]

BERTRAM, Jerome (ed.). Monumental brasses as art and history. Gloustershire: Allen Sutton in assn with the Monumental Brass Society, 1996, C19 Revival viii Modern Brasses p74 – 81

BILNEY, Irene. see Buffon in “So you want to read about Lowchens”. Copyright 2010.

BIXLER re Amiens p. 36 in Dog World May 2003 vol. 88 iss. 5, p. 36.

BIXLER, Alice. “Lochen” in Dog World May 2003 vol. 88 iss. 5 p. 36-43.

BOWLES, Charles. “The pros and cons of being a dwarf.” from 'The Last Member of the Boela Tribe by' Cathy Day in The Antioch Review vol. 61 no. 4 “Circuses and Art Museums (Autumn 2003) p. 612.

BOWRON, Peter [et al]. Best in Show: the dog in art from the Renaissance to today. New Haven [Conn.] : Yale University Press ; Houston : In association with The Museum of Fine Arts; Greenwich : Bruce Museum c2006, pp.14-5, 41-2, 44, 136.

Bulletin. Metropolitan Museum of Art. [M.M.A.] v. 53-54 (1995-1997) p. 13 .

COLLIER, V.W.F. Dogs of China and Japan in nature and art. London William Heinemann, 1921. opp. p. 182.

DENNINGER, Gini. Lowchen history @ http://lowchensaustralia.com/lowchens/breedhistory.htm.

Drawings and Etchings by Giovanni Battista Tiepolo and Giovanni Domenico Tiepolo [p.11]

HALL, Edwin. Arnolfini Bethrothal ... Berkley University of California, c1994. pp. 10, 11, 87, 115, 117, 186 pl 1, & fig 57

HORN, Cath. (undated). [for Smootchen}“The smooth Lowchen, the hidden Lowchen” See: Lowchenworld – Home – articles.

HORWITZ, G. in Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopaedia; v. 2 p.1152.

HUGHES, Robert. Goya. N.Y.: Alfred A. Knope, c2003, pp. 113, 119, 158, & 349.

HUTCHINSON, Walter. Hutchinson's Dog Encyclopaedia; ... [See v. 3 p. 1994 for ref to “Lion dog – G. Horwitz p. 1152 [in vol. 2].

KALSTONE, Shirlee. From “The dog in tapestries” in The American Kennel Club's World of the Pure-Bred Dog;... Ed. Duncan Barnes & staff of the AKC. N.Y. Howell 1983. p. 242, 245, 270, 272, 274-5, 374-5

Kennel Club Illustrated Breed Standard...London: Bodley Head, 1989, p. 3310-1.

LEIGHTON, Robert. The new book of the dog: .. Robert Leighton et al. Melbourne, Cassell and Company, Limited, 1911.[See Vol 2. Listed in the index (p. 623) as “Little Lion Dog” p. 537 - ½ page in Ch: Pet foreign dogs - no illustration.] [on screen reader in World Catalogue p. n261– Google Books].[author Robert Leighton date 1911]. “Russia is supposed to be the original home ...the appearance of a lion in miniature... active well proportioned dog,with a winning disposition”

MEYRICK. John. House dogs and sporting dogs ...London: John von Voorst, [1861?] MDCCCLXI. See Ch. Ix House dogs and toy dogs. p. 76 The lion dog.

No references for “ The family of Philip V” by. 1739/1743 Louis-Michel van Loo (around the late 1730s.). - have mislaid the ref for this!

PICKERAL, Tamsin. The Dog: 5000 years of the dog in art. London: Merrell, 2008, pp. 18, 81, 84, 114, 117-8, 184, 219.

REES Cyclopedia (1820) - Not located.

SECORD, William. Dog Painting 1840-1940 … Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 1992, pp. 246 & 349 pl. 210.

SECORD, William. Dog Painting. European breeds Suffolk: Antique Collectors' Club, 2000, pp. 116, 117, 118. pl. 145, 146,147.

Silesiancramer [email protected] silesiancramer.com/art

STRAUSS, Walter L. Albrecht Durer, woodcuts and wood blocks. N,Y, Abaris, 1970 c1980, pp. 34-5 102-3, 134-5, 144-5. 212-3, 304-5 & 358-9.

STRIEDER, Peter. Albrecht Durer, Paintings, prints, drawings. Translated by Nancy M. Gordon & Walter L. Strauss. N.Y.: Abaris, 1982 pp. 200-1.

VERLET, Pierre and Francis Salet. The Lady and the Unicorn. London: Thames & Hudson, 1961. pp. 18, 22 & opp, 33 & opp.

WILCOX, Bernie and Chris Walkowicz. Atlas of dog breeds. 5th ed. Neptune City NJ: TFH, c 1995. – pp. 585-6. Lowchen in death p. 585-6.. good re knights and ladies.

WOLK-SIMON, Linda. Domenico Tiepolo's drawings , prints, and paintings in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In The Metropolitan Museum of Art, vol. 54 no. 3 Winter 1996/7. p. 13.


Webcatalogue 1st Art Gallery @ www.mystudios.com/art gallery.

Webcatalogue BM designs www.bmdesigns.co.uk

Webcatalogue [email protected]/binks.htm

Webcatalogue Mystudios @ www. Mystudios.com/artgallery/


Webgallery [email protected] http://www.bumir.se/art3.jpg

Webgallery Lapunk @ Lowchen.lapunk.hu/?modul+galeria+a=5677.

Webgallery Silesiancramer @ http://www.silesiancramer.com/art /index.htm

Webgallery Tripel @ Http://www,tripel. be/Lowchens in art.html

WebgalleryMystudios @ www. Mystudios.com/artgallery/J/Jan-Wyck/King.


Website [email protected]/lion-breeding-history.htm

Website Lady & Unicorn tapestries @http://www,musee-moyenage.fr/ang/home/id20393-u112.htm

Website Lowchen Club UK @ www.thelowchenclubuk.com

Website Lowchenworld http://www.lowchenworld.com/pedigrees/

Irene Bilney, 18-01-2010.


Putting the Lowchen in the Picture :Lowchens I discovered in Art. by Irene Bilney © 18 January 2010.

An extract of this article was first published in National Dog The Ring Leader Way magazine'sBreed Supplement for Havanese, Lowchen and Bichon Frise.” Vol. 13 Number 1-2 Jan/Feb 2010. See p. 12 for “Over 500 years of Portraited Lowchens”– an extract from Putting the Lowchen in the Picture. I sincerely thank the editor: Wendye Slatyer for thereby promoting the breed I love so dearly: the Lowchen.

Irene Bilney, 24 March 20 - Ibapaws: the home of obedient Lowchen:My Lowchens love to play and obey. [email protected]


Contact Details

Irene Bilney
Richmond 3121, VIC, Australia
Phone : 03 94281201
Email : [email protected]