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Dogs playing with birds in a park

  • Listed: January 1, 1970 12:00 am
  • Title: Dogs playing with birds in a park
  • Artist: Jean-Baptiste Oudry
  • Origins:
  • Format (cm): 89 x 116 cm.
  • Format (in): 35 x 45¾ in.
  • Material:
  • Last Sale price: 218 500,00
  • Last Sale date:
Dogs playing with birds in a park


Jean-Baptiste Oudry (Paris 1686-1755 Beauvais) Dogs playing with birds in a park signed and dated ‘J.B. Oudry 1754′ (lower left) oil on canvas, unlined 35 x 45¾ in. (89 x 116 cm.)
In the Luynes family since the XIXth century by descent to the present duc de Luynes .
The present painting is recorded in manuscript inventories of the Hôtel de Luynes in Paris. Described as “Deux chiens et deux serins” (‘Two dogs and two canaries’), the subjects of the painting are identified as the ‘petit chiens du duc de Luynes’. Commissioned from Oudry by Charles-Philippe d’Albert de Luynes (1695-1758), the painting may have been part of a décor that included works by Huet and Challe. See Thomas de Luynes & Bruno Pons, “Les cabinets de tableaux du duc de Chevreuse et du duc de Luynes à l’hôtel de Luynes au XVIIIe siècle,” in Le Faubourg Saint-Germain. La Rue Saint-Dominique. Hôtels et Amateurs ,” Musée Rodin, Paris, 11 October-20 December 1984, p. 61.
This delightful double portrait of a placid pug and a playful terrier that chases two birds on the grounds of a great château seems to be entirely unknown and unrecorded. It is fully signed and dated 1754, but the identity of the dogs’ owner, who no doubt commissioned the picture, is untraced. It cannot be the painting recorded as ‘Un tableau réprésentant des doguins et les oiseaux’ by Oudry which belonged to the Comtesse de Verrue, as that appeared in her sale in 1737; however, that was almost certainly a canine portrait of a similar sort. The present painting finds precedents for its composition in some of Oudry’s portraits of the royal hunting dogs in garden landscapes, notably the noble Misse and Turlu (1725; Fontainebleau).

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