I’m still going through all 96 lots at Christie's, but today’s favorite dog painting at auction this Friday is Pointy by John Singer Sargent. I love that the celebrated portrait artist deigned to paint a pet, and the thick, almost graffiti-like inscription gives it such a contemporary feel.
There is also a bittersweet love story behind this work. Pointy was the pet of ex-pat socialite Louise Burckhardt with whom Sargent had an affair in the early 1880s. (The Pointy painting was a gift to her.) There was even talk of an engagement, but Louise would marry Roger Ackerley in 1889 and die shortly thereafter.
Sargent’s 1882 portrait of Louise, Lady With The Rose, (above) was a sensation at the Paris Salon and added immeasurably to his reputation… and, I’m sure, his love life.