Tag Archives: Dogs Playing Poker

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Dogs Playing Poker

Dogs Playing Poker refers collectively to a series of sixteen oil paintings by C. M. Coolidge, commissioned in 1903 by Brown & Bigelow to advertise cigars. All the paintings in the series feature anthropomorphized dogs, but the nine in which dogs are seated around a card table are the most reproduced.

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The titles in the “Dogs Playing Poker” series proper are:

  • A Bold Bluff (originally titled Judge St. Bernard Stands Pat on Nothing)
  • A Friend in Need
  • His Station and Four Aces
  • Pinched with Four Aces
  • Poker Sympathy
  • Post Mortem
  • Sitting up with a Sick Friend
  • Stranger in Camp
  • Waterloo (originally titled Judge St. Bernard Wins on a Bluff)
  • Ten Miles to a Garage
  • Riding the Goat
  • New Year’s Eve in Dogville
  • One to Tie Two to Win
  • Breach of Promise Suit
  • The Reunion
  • A Bachelor’s Dog

These were followed in 1910 by a similar painting, Looks Like Four of a Kind. Some of the compositions in the series are modeled on paintings of human card-players by such artists as Caravaggio, Georges de La Tour, and Paul Cézanne.

The St. Bernard in the paintings Waterloo and A Bold Bluff was owned by the Fifth Avenue florist Theodore Lang, who counted Coolidge among his friends. The dog’s name was Captain. On February 15, 2005, the originals of A Bold Bluff and Waterloo were auctioned as a pair to an undisclosed buyer for US $590,400. The previous top price for a Coolidge was $74,000.

A website dedicated to the paintings of dogs playing poker, and their artist, Cassius Coolidge.  http://www.dogsplayingpoker.org/

 

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