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Greyhounds in Art

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Objet d'art

agasseGreyhounds throughout history have been treasured by their owners as companions and objects of beauty. Greyhounds were often owned by royalty and noblemen, housed in the manor and treated as one of the family.
Artists have been depicting the Greyhound for thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, a breed similar to the modern Greyhound appeared in tomb paintings, sculptures and Books of the Dead. Families mourned the death of a favorite Greyhound. They mummified their remains and buried them in their own tombs.
Greyhounds in ancient Greece and Rome were also treated with reverence and were frequently depicted in art. Gods in all three cultures were portrayed with greyhounds -- Anubis in Egypt is sometimes interpreted as part man, part hound. The Greek Gods Hecate, Pollux, and Artemis all had Greyhounds as companions. In Rome, Diana was just one of the many gods who was portrayed with greyhounds. During the Renaissance, the Greyhound was painted by Albrect Dürer and Piero de la Francesca, appearing alongside saints. Erté’s art deco Greyhound is perhaps the best known modern depiction of a Greyhound.

WHY AREN'T GREYHOUNDS GREY?

Greyhounds come in a variety of colors, but grey isn’t one of their more common colors. The root word comes from the Germanic "gaze hound" or sight hound because Greyhounds hunt by sight, not by smell. At some point "gaze hound" began to be pronounced as Greyhound.

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ANIMALS IN ART

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Heather Cuesta is a former art professor, lifelong animal advocate, and managing partner at Airport Animal Hospital. She holds advanced degrees in art, history, and design. Her work defines the visual environment at the hospital and her illustrations are published in many places on the web.

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