1. The placement of a dog in this portrait probably symbolized the virtuous nature of the woman.
Gabriel Metsu, Portrait of a Lady, 1667, oil on panel, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, gift of Atherton and Winifred W. Bean
2. Dogs often made their way into family portraits. If you look closely at the painting you can see that a dog is nuzzling the hand of the woman.
Nicolas de Largilliere, Portrait of Catherine Coustard, c. 1699, oil on canvas, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, The John R. Van Derlip Trust Fund
3. When Ward grew up he became a famous engraver and painter of animals, especially dogs and horses.
James Ward, Marengo, 1824, crayon lithograph, © Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Lee M. Friedman Fund