A Bulldog by Franz von Matsch

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A Bulldog by Franz von Matsch

Painting NameA Bulldog
Painter NameFranz von Matsch
Size45.5 x 51 cm (17.91" x 20.08")
Current LocationPrivate collection

In the portrayal, there is a little symbolism going on as there is a sausage and a dog (bulldog) is portrayed together. In today’s time, eating dog-meat has been tabooed by the ‘civilized’ society as more and more people are keeping dogs as their pets. They are now in many houses living as family members in modern countries.

Surprisingly, until 1845 people of Germany used to eat dog meat. Just like today’s sausages filled with pork, beaf, chicken or all of them together, at that time people would eat dog meat stuffed in sausages. It was a common knack without considering it a bizarre cuisine. Yes, that’s the reason, today we call our sausages ‘hot dogs’.

The practice of eating dog-meat diminished around 1845. The artist who depicted this painting was born in Vienna, Austria in 1861, which is a neighbor country to Germany. So there are chances that even after the practice was reduced drastically and artist born a little later, he was aware about the eating habits of the country which was still active just about 30 years before his birth.

I see another symbolism is present in the painting as the artist deliberately chose a breed of bulldog. Maybe because England was represented as a bulldog due to its similar characteristics with the breed in wars. Or there could be another reason that during the second Word War the Russians called Winston Churchill as a ‘British bulldog’.



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