Small dog holding a shoe
The little pet dog was the best asset in portraits and genre scenes at the end of the 18th century. In the heart of salons or in the intimacy of a bedroom, the pet dog, a symbol of luxury, was an integral part of the daily life of an aristocracy eager to show off the signs of its wealth. This little dog, miniaturized like a fashion accessory, is closely shorn, its ears clipped (we say "écouées"), its claws manicured and its teeth perhaps even cut, according to the customs of the time. A "bichon dog" or a "muff dog", generic terms for miniature dogs under the Ancien Régime, this little dog is probably a kind of miniature spaniel (or papillon) in vogue at the time of the painting but here rendered unrecognizable because it is completely shorn.