The name Zoraida in Arabic means "captivating woman"
A Large 19th Century Dog Painting of a Poodle
Oil on canvas, original frame
37 x 29-1/2 inches (41-1/4 x 34 w/frame)
This is an amazing painting. The unknown artist manages to capture the mood of Zoraida, which we see is not in a trifling mood. Her bowl is empty and since this was created before the advent of photography, the sitter, Zoraida.... a poodle, would have been required to sit for some periods of time. We can see by her sideways glare, she's had just about enough. This is a large and wonderful painting which was handled deftly and sensitively.
The Standard Poodle is one of the oldest pure-bred dogs and its origin, while popularly thought to be French, is German. The name poodle along with breed is believed to have originated in Germany. Despite the poodle’s pop-culture reputation as a pampered lap dog, poodles come from a line of hard-working sport animals.
The name poodle came from the German Pudelhund or Pudel (which in English means “puddle”) meaning “to splash about,” and the word Hund in German means “dog. ”
The poodle became standardized in France, where it was worked as a water retriever. It was the poodle’s popularity which solidified it as the national breed in France.
While no one knows the Poodle’s true origins, what we do know is that the earliest ancestors of the Poodle were said to be curly-coated dogs of central Asia. The poodle’s history has seen rough-coated water dogs claiming to be associated with the poodle’s ancestry. The first dog breed laying claim was a type of curly-coated dog known as the Barbet, which was seen throughout Hungary, France, and Russia. However, it was the German strain of the dog that exerted maximum influence on the Poodle we know today.
Poodles are retrievers or “gun dogs,” and are still used by hunters in that role. Their coat is moisture-resistant, which helps their swimming and reflects their heritage as purpose-bred, hunting companions. While primarily considered a water-retrievers and excellent duck hunters, the poodle was. and still is, used as guide dogs, guard dogs, military dogs, circus performers, and wagon pullers for entertainers.
The iconic “Poodle clip” may have had a more practical or utilitarian origin. It was created by hunters to help the dogs move through the water more efficiently; with the patches of hair left on the body meant to protect the poodle’s vital organs and joints from the cold water.
It’s agreed that the poodles coat was clipped to help it swim. But, as noted, some believe that leaving puffs of hair surrounding the tail tip and leg joints were also meant to protect the animal during hunting, but there is stronger evidence that implies that this adornment started during the dog’s performing days. It may have been this “entertainment” connection that led to the poodle’s rise into the French aristocracy. However the grooming style evolved, fashionable women in France began carrying around poodles as elegant companions
An interesting side note; the British, in the early 1900s, coined a slang term “poodle-faker,” which meant a man who sought the company of affluent women for social and financial advantage; the “poodle-faker” fawned and ingratiated himself to these ladies as one would an adoring pet. Miniatures and Toys have been bred down from the larger Poodles and they exhibit the same general characteristics