Category Archive 'Pieter Bruegel'

11 Oct 2014

Bruegel’s Hunting Dogs

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Deatai from Pieter Bruegel the Elder, Hunters in the Snow, 1565, Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna

Karen forwarded this, commenting: “Notice all the curly tails. But are the ears greyhound-like or pendant, like tazis?”

Her reference to curly tails, pertains to the policy of organized hunting packs to cull hounds with curly tails because, when they are bred from, the curvature of the tail tends to migrate forward, producing spinal problems in their offspring.

Tazis are the more northerly form of the Persian, or Oriental, Greyhound, known elsewhere as the saluki.

Bruegel’s hunters’ dogs, I think, consist of three types: I see three long-bodied, short-haired sighthounds (visible on the upper right): greyhounds. The only one whose head is visible has short, pointed ears. The upper left dog, with coarse coat, is a lurcher type (a cross between a sighthound and another kind of breed, either a pastoral guard dog or a terrier). So, too, might be the taller, heavier-built dark brown dog whose loins are concealed behind a tree. The shorter, flop-eared dogs would be scent hounds.

I like the way Image Diver produced this detail image.

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