Weird 19th-century painting, allegedly by Manet, removed from auction


Originally published at:


a staring, mouthless mystery mammal.

It’s a dog, Rob.


And it really obviously has a mouth. Are we cursed, or is Rob?


He’s European, Rob.


A small black and tan dog with some blue merle around the mouth. Not unlike my dog.


It looked better before the cleaning lady messed it up.


Close up it looks more like a panther, but I see a nose and mouth-possessing dog face.



I am not an art expert, but the weird eyes and flat face do not look like the work of a master like Manet. I bet it’s a fake. The stipulation:

“entitled the anonymous claimant to a share of the profits should the painting ever be attributed to Manet”

sounds like there is a good chance there was some chicanery going on. They didn’t know whether it could be sold as a Manet? That means they have no provenance and no proof. Maybe there was some kind of bet between the two that it could be passed as a Manet?


Nonsense: the beast clearly has two buck teeth and an open mouth with a chalky-white tongue and the row of teeth on its lower jaw exposed:



I can kind of imagine Manet furiously painting for about an hour, then stepping back and saying, “I just can’t get that face to come together at all. Screw this, I’m starting over.”


The assertions soothed with an air of confidence. This painting was like any other. Nothing more than a quaint depiction of that classic duo: a boy and his dog. Nothing of note.

But as you switched tabs, clicks carrying you off to new articles, the image stayed in your mind. The face, the looming eyes, the creature…what world had this painter glimpsed to commit such a vision to canvas? Your certainty about the mundane nature of the painting began to fade. And just as quickly, the concept of certainty itself began to fall away, leaving behind only the frozen skull-white visage of that boy. Staring unblinkingly from the unfathomable shadows of time, conjuring memories you never remembered having…

It’s just a dog, you remind yourself. Just a dog.


And Rob clearly is familiar with staring, mouthless mystery mammals (er, maybe not a mammal, but still). What gives?



I see it, I SEE IT!


Looks like Odo from ds9!


That’s obviously a young Julian Assange. Which means that must be a cat.


Are you sure it isn’t a dog-cat


There are too many eyes and not enough mouths for @beschizza to be familiar with it.


That face reminds me of the description of the watchman in “The Yellow Sign” by Robert Chambers:

“His face was toward me now, and with a perfectly involuntary movement I bent to see it. At the same moment he raised his head and looked at me. Instantly I thought of a coffin-worm. Whatever it was about the man that repelled me I did not know, but the impression of a plump white grave-worm was so intense and nauseating that I must have shown it in my expression, for he turned his puffy face away with a movement which made me think of a disturbed grub in a chestnut.”


Maybe he can’t see dogs? Like some poor souls can’t see faces?


Looks like a paint-by-number.

Seriously, it looks like it is unfinished and Manet quit it while still blocking in colors, shadow, highlight, etc.