Cassius Marcellus Coolidge's 1903 painting Dogs Playing Poker is an imagined reproduction of a group of anthropomorphic canines gathered in an elegant drawing room playing a game of poker. Although Coolidge lived a humble life with his wife, this most famous of his canvases recently sold for $590,400. In popular culture 'Dogs Playing Poker' is the name given to any one of the sixteen paintings Coolidge completed in 1903 on commission from Brown & Bigelow on behalf of a major cigar company. It is an image that has become indelibly engrained on the American popular consciousness and has appeared on countless souvenir items, pop-culture kitsch, and referenced in films and on television. In Coolridge's iconic work bulldogs, mastiffs, St. Bernard's and various collies gather around a table, complete with their smoking pipes and cigars, drinking beer and whiskey. They reflect the popular pastime of men in the first years of the twentieth-century. Popular amongst contemporary poker players, many find the idiosyncratic expressions of each dog reflect so well the machinations of poker players.
In 1903, Brown & Bigelow, an advertising agency in St. Paul, Minnesota, hired the aspiring advertising painter Coolidge. The company had been made responsible for producing a series of oil paintings to illustrate calendars published by a brand of cigars. These paintings therefore met the needs for a commercial application and not a single creative impulse. Although new to the market at the time, Brown & Bigelow published some of the most popular calendars of the era. For the company Coolidge was an obvious choice. The artist had been painting figurative and imagined reproductions of dogs since the 1870s and some of his works were already on cigar boxes. Little did each party in the creation of the work know the lasting impact and charm Dogs Playing Poker would have.
Important Notes About Your Painting:
If you have any request to alter your reproduction of Dogs Playing Poker, you must email us after placing your order and we'll have an artist contact you. If you have another image of Dogs Playing Poker that you would like the artist to work from, please include it as an attachment. Otherwise, we will reproduce the above image for you exactly as it is.