Study of a Hound Baying
Jean–Baptiste Oudry ( French, 1686 - 1755 )
Jean-Baptiste Oudry was deeply invested in the depiction of the dogs that served as the protagonists of his paintings. In preparation for his painted animal scenes, Oudry produced many studies of dogs, including this undated mixed-media sketch in the Rosenberg Collection. Here Oudry experiments with ways to capture the dog in motion. In the closely cropped view of “Study of a Hound Baying,” the dog comes bounding toward us, mouth open and slobbery, teeth bared, nose aloft, and genitals clearly evident. This is a preliminary sketch; Oudry was still experimenting with different poses, with less worked-out versions of the dog’s head at left and right. But the artist took the time to lay in a shadow underneath the central dog’s feet, creating a sense of three-dimensionality and instantaneity in a sketch that only measures about ten by twelve inches. Adapted from Amy Freund, "Good Dog! Jean-Baptiste Oudry and the Politics of Animal Painting," in “French Art of the Eighteenth Century: The Michael L. Rosenberg Lecture Series at the Dallas Museum of Art,” ed. Heather MacDonald (Dallas, TX: Dallas Museum of Art and the Michael L. Rosenberg Foundation, 2016), 73.