Painters best friend

Constant Nieuwenhuys-L'inondation, 1995

Constant | L'inondation, 1995

Francisco Goya-The Dog, 1819-1823

Francisco Goya | The Dog, 1819-1823

On seeing Constant's painting L'inondation one of our visitors pointed out a striking resemblance to the painting The Dog by Goya. Both painters were in their mid seventies when they painted these dogs who are obviously in distress. And where Goya's dog may have been a metaphor for Goya's own physical demise and emotional despair Constant's portrayal of the drowning dog, in which we can recognise his own dog, Tikus, were inspired by the floodings of the Rijn, Maas and Waal rivers in 1995 and the evacuation of 250.000 inhabitants from villages.
Both dogs are portrayed at the bottom of the painting as to suggest the vastness of their looming doom and both dogs show an emotional distress so obvious that only a painter who loves his dog as his own child could have painted them. But where Goyas painting is dark and ominous, Constants L'inondation has light greys with hints of pastels shining through. As if he wants to make sure that we know that Tikus will reach dry shore safely.