In 1903, the company Brown & Bigelow commissioned paintings to the painter Cassius Marcellus Coolidge to be used in an advertising campaign for cigars. At first 16, the paintings they became 18 years later.
Although Coolidge’s paintings have entered the world of pop culture, the painter himself is said to be the most famous American artist that has never been heard of.
Chi era Cassius Marcellus Coolidge?
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge was born in 1844 on a farm. He never attended an art school, but he showed his talent from an early age. Already at the age of 20 he had sold his first illustrations to various magazines; he particularly liked to create surreal and humorous workssuch as funny animals in children’s books.
An underrated artist
Although Coolidge’s series of paintings were widely circulated, critics did not recognize his works as “a true form of art”. The rooms presented in the graphic, for example, are still seen as a stereotypical example of bad taste in interior decoration.
It even got to the point that on April 1, 2002, the director of the Chrysler Museum of Art in Virginia (USA), William Hennessey, has publicly mocked the whole serieswhich he tried to buy for the museum anyway!
Dogs playing Poker
The series of paintings Dogs playing Poker presents funny stories with dogs in the main roles. It has been noted that some of the poses they adopted were drawn from works by other artists, such as Caravaggio, Georges de La Tour or Paul Cézanne, in whose works were depicted people playing cards.
Coolidge sought inspiration in the world around him: the Saint Bernard visible in the titled paintings Waterloo e A Bold Bluff it belonged to Theodor Lang, a Fifth Avenue florist and friend of the painter. His dog was called Captain.
On February 15, 2005, the original versions of Waterloo e A Bold Bluff were auctioned for $ 590,400.
The most popular painting, A Friend in Needit was never put up for sale and is estimated to be worth millions of dollars.
And did you know the series of paintings Dogs Playing Poker? Let us know in a comment at the bottom of the article 👇