Mar 122010


Okay, I am feeling a little OCD. But here is the second painting with Carpaccio’s dog. It’s in the gondola bottom right. This painting is called “Healing of a Madman.” It’s in the Galleria dell’Accademia. Notice the strange Venetian chimney pots. I find them disturbing. I think they are disturbing because Carpaccio seems to be drawing a parallel between the human figures and the chimney pots. Do we detect here a whiff of autism in a painter clearly more comfortable with dogs and chimney pots than people? (I suggest this knowing that it will set off a firestorm in the claustrophobic world of Venetian art criticism.) What about Carpaccio’s dog thing anyway?

Here are two Karen Mulhallen poems from her book of selected poems Acquainted With Absence. The form is the tanka.



Accompanied by
his little dog, Carpaccio
goes everywhere.

and so would I too:
Abroad with dog, heart’s desire.


Carpaccio’s little
dog is always on my mind,
or at least a world

where small beasts dwell. Desire is
mortal, love not quite fleeting.

— Karen Mulhallen

Karen Mulhallen


  No Responses to “Carpaccio’s Dog: Poems — Karen Mulhallen”

  1. I suppose there are worse things to be blamed for than starting a Venice thread! I could have talked about Thomas Mann’s unpublished sequel to “Death In Venice”…”Death in Cleveland.”

  2. Titian and Rubens added dogs to their paintings too … here’s an article I can’t access from over here that seems like it might be interesting…

    Lipsius and His Dogs: Humanist Tradition, Iconography and Rubens’s Four Philosophers
    Jan Papy
    Journal of the Warburg and Courtauld Institutes, Vol. 62, (1999), pp. 167-198
    (article consists of 32 pages)
    Published by: The Warburg Institute
    Stable URL:

  3. Natasha, Thanks for the citation. Have you tried going through Gary Library? I’ll check later. But the library has partial access to the jstor catalogue. Or do you lose your password when you graduate? That would be unfortunate.


    • Unfortunately you lose your password when you graduate, which was one of the reasons I thought about not graduating….

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