Saturday, March 11, 2006

Art Blogging: Cassius Marcellus Coolidge

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge (1844-1934) was an American painter who did not go to the Royal Academy nor the Ecole des Beaux Arts, but he did paint pictures of dogs playing poker, which is good enough for me.

Don't get me wrong -- I simply adore the refined paintings of the European traditions, but there is something quintissentially American about Coolidge's dogs: humorous, irreverent, and coarse. We should all aspire for such brilliant simplicity.

Clicking on these pictures will not open up larger views, unlike most of my Art Blogging posts. Strangely, the Art Renewal Center does not feature Coolidge. Perhaps if he had knelt at the feet of Bouguereau at some point in his life, that might be different....

A Friend in Need.

His Station and Four Aces. The title refers to the dog on the left, who has just been informed by the conductor that they have arrived at his stop -- unfortunately at the moment when he has drawn four aces.


Kelly Pool. Let no one think that Coolidge was a crude artist only capable of painting genre scenes of dogs playing poker.

He could also paint dogs playing pool.


Mark Winter said...


Your art blogging has finally gone to the dogs.

I know, stupid pun...but the rest of the bloggers are sorry they didn't post it before me.

Keith Taylor said...


You have now taught me something near and dear to my heart. Thank you so much.

My whole life, I have absolutely loved the "Dogs Playing...." paintings. I had no idea that a real artist painted them. Cassius Marcellus Coolidge is my favorite artist and I never even knew it. I reckon I should have looked at the signatures.

John said...

Glad to, Keith. I fell in love with these prints when I first saw them in a pizzareria at the age of 8.

Jeff the Baptist said...

I have A Friend in Need hanging above my fireplace. Amybear bought it for me.

Tim Sisk said...

What is most hilarious to me about the dogs playing poker (first picture "A Friend in Need) is that the point of it seems to be the cheating.

I guess if dogs could play poker there would be some cheating.

John said...

Now there is a woman who understands men!

DogBlogger said...