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“Pug in the chair” is one of the central paintings in the work of the French animal artist Alfred Dedreux, currently in the collection of the State Hermitage Museum. The image itself, written in 1857, is frankly satirical and parody, although it still remains a mystery, which prompted the hand of the master to create this painting.
In the center of the picture exposition there is a pug that has collapsed and dozed off in a chair with a red drapery, next to which there is a small table with a full glass, and at its feet lies a rather crumpled issue of the newspaper Le Figaro.
In addition to the above objects, at the bottom of the picture, the viewer can also observe a hound that is looming and almost merging with the dark tone of the background, whose neck is crowned with a silver collar. And if the motive for creating the painting itself, as already mentioned, remains under a veil of secrecy, then the prototypes of the characters depicted on the canvas are perfectly readable.
It is known for certain that in the form of a slumbering pug, none other than the famous French journalist Ippolit de Vilmesan was depicted, who, three years before the creation of the picture, noted that he had resumed the publication of the same newspaper Le Figaro, which rests at the clutches of its picture embodiment.
In the form of a hound, Dedreux portrayed Count Charles de Monry, an elegant and refined in his manners behavior, who is - here the most interesting begins - the brother of the then President of the French Republic, Napoleon III, and, concurrently, also the closest friend of the same de Wilmesan .
If you know this kind of circumstances of the relationship of these people, you can confidently say that the Hound-Monry not only protects the peace of his journalist friend, but also patronizes him in the promotion of certain ideas, one of which was precisely the resurrection of the symbolic newspaper for French history.
An interesting fact is that Dedreux reinterpreted and embodied in a somewhat cartoonish manner not only the features of Count de Monry: the pug is also pretty much like Wilmesan. This is especially striking if you know that the appearance of the master of minds was distinguished by short cut hair, thick and slightly sagging lips, and also a large round head firmly set on a short neck. According to one of his contemporaries, de Vilmessan was more like a smuggler or poacher than a recognized master of the pen.
Composition According to the Picture of Levitan Silent Abode