Daily Art Moment: Renée Sintenis

Image description: Dog (New Year’s Greeting Card), 2 13/16 x 4 3/8 inches, drypoint on paper. A print on light tan colored paper depicting a small scruffy coated dog curled up with its head resting on the floor. The dog is illustrated using relatively few black lines, showing a textured, wiry coat. The dog is laying down with its paws tucked under its body and head tucked back towards its hind leg. One paw does peek out from behind the pup’s head at far right. Upright pointed ears mimic a pointed snout accented with whiskers and a tiny nose. The dog’s unruly coat gives it a scruffy, slightly bedraggled appearance. The black lines that compose it have an uneven and ragged edge adding to the dog’s unkempt presentation.
Renée Sintenis (German, 1888-1965), Dog (New Year’s Greeting Card), mid-20th century, drypoint on paper, plate: 2 13/16 in x 4 3/8 in; sheet: 4 3/4 in x 6 1/2 in, Gift of Mrs. Thomas C. Colt, Jr.. Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon, 51.197

Happy New Year! Artists have long marked the occasion by sending original prints to their friends and family. In this example by German sculptor and printmaker Renée Sintenis (1888–1965), the pup looks exhausted by the festivities. The artist took advantage of drypoint’s ability to create a raised ragged edge to capture ink (known as the “burr”) to describe the dog’s furry coat, the tufts on its ears, and the bright expression in its eyes. Sintenis made this drypoint sometime in the mid-twentieth century, but it is tempting to see the scruffy dog as a symbol for the chaotic year of 2021. Here’s to smoother sailing in 2022!

Mary Weaver Chapin, Curator of Prints and Drawings

Renée Sintenis (German, 1888–1965), Dog (New Year’s Greeting Card), mid-20th century. Drypoint on paper. Gift of Mrs. Thomas C. Colt, Jr., 51.197

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