A Dog, a Fox and Game
(1720−1735), oil, canvas, 96 x 134,5 cm
NG S 2419, National Gallery of Slovenia, Ljubljana
A pointer with an almost human expression is sniffing the bagged game. The painting is typical of Domenico Brandi’s repertoire and many of his works can be compared to it. It seems likely that this scene was freely adapted from one of the most important of Jacopo Bassano’s works, now in the Louvre, which shows two dogs (61 x 79.5 cm).
The state of preservation would suggest that this is Brandi’s work. The dark priming has considerably changed the tones, so that the painting, which must have once been fairly light, today has a brown tone, and has lost the colour contrasts which the artist wished to achieve.
With our present knowledge it is impossible to suggest a close dating, but it seems likely that this painting was produced between 1720 and 1735.
A smaller replica of the picture (73.5 x 96 cm) is privately owned in Ljubljana. The Museé des Beaux-Arts in Orléans holds Brandi’s Hunting Equipment, Two Dogs, a Hare and a Bird, 96 x 132 cm, Inv. No. 1298, which is reminiscent of the two paintings in Ljubljana. It was attributed to the painter de Coninck and the Italian school of the second half of the 17th century. Two canvases with the same title and of the same size, Dogs and Game, 94.6 x 133 cm, which are also similar to the Ljubljana paintings, were attributed to the circle around Baldassare di Caro and sold at Christie’s in London on 19 April 1996, Nos. 207 A and 207 B.
Restored: 1988. Kemal Selmanović.
Provenance: Unknown. On the old stretcher were marks indicating that the painting came from the FCC: a number in ink (Inv. 4508) and a note in pencil: Zavod III 51 and 93/131. (Transferred to the ZSV to furnish Snežnik Castle); the painting was hung in the prince’s room, later simply in the kitchen of Snežnik Castle; in 1986 the Government of Slovenia entrusted it to the Narodna galerija.
Exhibition: 1989, Ljubljana, No. 11.
Lit.: Zeri and Rozman 1989, pp. 102, 116–117, Cat. No. 11, Fig. 9; De Marchi, A. G, 1996, pp. 49, 57.