Blog, book review

A Dog’s Guide to Art

By Joy Fitzsimmons

A light-hearted look at art through canine eyes.

I think I am almost as excited about this book, as the author is herself. As you may recall I interviewed Joy for our ‘Meet the Maker’ series a while back, this is how she described her work.

‘My on going theme is placing a dachshund in a well-known painting or sculpture which totally changes the meaning. It has been so rewarding to copy from the great masters then give it a humorous slant.’

Joy is not the only artist who adores these charming short-legged canines. Dachshunds have played muse to some of the greatest artists and have been owned by many of them including Picasso, Hockney and Warhol.

At the time of the interview Joy said she was collecting ideas together for a book and now here it is.

With her two dogs Ned and Henry as guides, A Dog’s Guide to Art takes the reader on an energetic romp through the world of art, encountering famous paintings and sculptures from a four-legged perspective.

         They lead their gang of hounds – including schnauzers, jack russells, greyhounds, border terriers, Labradors and more on an eventful trip through the gallery, taking in modern masterpieces and much loved Old Masters. On their way they encounter Whistler’s Mother, Picasso’s The Dream, Matisse’s The Fall of Icarus and a Dachshund Pollack – all culminating in a doggy version of Campbell’s Soup, Warhol’s Squirrel Soup for dogs! Joy has cleverly used the Squirrel soup with all its colour combinations as the books end papers. They look wonderful and would make a brilliant wrapping paper. Well we can but ask.

On the title page is a very clever take on a Banksy with the silhouette of  a Dachshund being carried into the air by a bunch of balloons.

The book is full of clever play on words and puns. The whole package is a total delight and is just out in time for Christmas. For those impossible to buy for, friends and relatives, this is a perfect Christmas gift.


A Dog’s Guide to Art by Joy Fitzsimmons is published by Portico. Illustrations by Joy Fitzsimmons.

12 November 2020

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