Throughout history, dogs have played a huge part in human lives. Our canine friends have always been close to us. Dogs are depicted as man’s best friend in countless movies, books, songs and artwork.
There are plenty of incredible and beautiful pieces of art featuring a four-legged friend. If you’re on the hunt for a new piece to add to your home or you’d like to try recreating a painting yourself, we’ve compiled some dog art inspiration to help you.
1. Cave Canem - Roman Mosaic
Let’s start with a piece of canine artwork that is part of an incredibly rich history. The Cave Canem mosaic dates back to ancient Rome – so it’s probably some of the oldest dog artwork you can find around the globe!
The ruins at Pompeii, the remnants of the city destroyed by volcanic eruption, are a popular modern tourist attraction. In an infamous house, The House of the Tragic Poet, a small mosaic of a dog can be spotted, accompanied by the words ‘Cave Canem’. This translates as ‘beware of the dog’ – an ancient version of the modern day dog signs you can buy to protect your home!
Recreate your own version of the Cave Canem mosaic to display in your home.
2. Dogs Playing Poker - Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
For something a little more humorous, look no further than Dogs Playing Poker.
As the title hints, the art collection includes 18 paintings depicting dogs playing poker around a table. The dog painting is humorous, showing the pups sitting like humans holding their cards and drinking beer.
The kitsch paintings have become world-famous through their use in popular culture. They’ve appeared in countless films, cartoons, television episodes, video games and books, making them some of the most famous pieces of dog artwork in history.
3. Portrait Of Maurice - Andy Warhol
Looking for something a little more psychedelic?
The Portrait Of Maurice is the perfect way to add a pop of vibrant colour to your walls. Painted by the incredible Andy Warhol, the portrait is a commissioned piece of a dachshund. Although he’s arguably most famous for his bold celebrity pieces and infamous soup cans, The Portrait Of Maurice has an undeniable charm to it.
The piece shows a dachshund's face in bright blue, orange and pink hues.
4. Head of A Dog - Edvard Munch
Edvard Munch is known for his psychological artwork – especially his intense piece The Scream.
Throughout his life, Munch loved nothing more than his beloved dogs. Often they were his closest companions and only friends while he focused on painting. It’s even said that Munch would take his dogs to the movies with him – and if they didn’t like the film or barked at the screen, they left the theatre!
Head Of A Dog is one of the numerous examples of Munch painting and drawing the pups that meant so much to him.
5. Dog - Pablo Picasso
Another famous artist with a close four-legged companion was Picasso.
Lump was a dachshund that lived with Picasso for six years, and through that time they grew close. Though the dog didn’t actually belong to Picasso (he was actually the pet of a close friend), the two were inseparable – and Lump got on very well with Picasso’s other dog and pet goat!
Picasso did a charming sketch of Lump, which is simply titled ‘Dog’. The sketch is a simple, minimalist line drawing.
6. Pride Of Parenthood - Norman Rockwell
Depicting family life and homely scenes was a huge part of Rockwell’s work, and dogs often feature in these pieces. He once said that when painting our beloved four-legged friends, you should paint them ‘just as carefully and understandingly as you paint the people’.
Pride of Parenthood shows a gleeful child surrounded by excited newborn puppies, with the pup’s mother sat beside him. It’s a quaint family scene, and a perfect example of the American Regionalist style of art.
7. Arearea - Paul Gauguin
In contrast to the American home life in the last painting, Arearea conveys a beautiful, vibrant and exotic scene. Inspired by his trip to Tahiti, Gauguin painted pieces reminiscent of his travels – and many of them feature dogs.
The dog in this stunning colourful painting is portrayed as free, collarless and able to roam wherever it wishes. The pup’s beautiful fiery colour makes it the standout feature of the painting.
8. Little Girl in a Blue Armchair - Mary Cassatt
Our final painting depicts an all-too-familiar scene! It shows a girl and her dog slouching around lazily in their living room – something we all love doing on a daily basis.
The Little Girl in a Blue Armchair oil painting contains beautiful deep turquoise chairs. The pup lounging around is a Brussels Griffon: a breed owned and loved by the artist Cassatt.
Dogs have played such an important role in part throughout the ages – so if you’re a dog-lover and an art fanatic, there’s no better way to combine your passions than through a dog art print.
If you’re looking for something more modern, our minimalist Scandi-style prints are the perfect fit. You can browse our collection here.