Oil on canvas from the workshop of
Paolo Caliari (called Veronese), c, 1585.
In Veronese's painting of The
Annunication, Mary is portrayed (along with her Bible) in her
seaside villa with a very fashionable dog, likely a drop-eared Papillon - signifier of a wealthy, aristocratic women, said
exhibition curator Francesca Consagra.
"It's not just to make the composition look nicer or to add a little
ambiance or to create a setting, like a prop," Consagra told CBS News' Anna Werner. The
inclusion of dogs "have deep connections to status, class, personality,
aspirations, and big philosophies."
fashionable dog came to represent wealth and fidelity in portraits of aristocratic
women (particularly in Italy, France and Spain) from the 16th
through 18th centuries.