Art History Lab

Dogs in Art: Exploring the Profound Bond and Symbolism in Famous Paintings

Man has a profound relationship with dogs dating back thousands of years. These loyal animals have been a popular subject in art history, with their presence being depicted in various art forms.

Depictions of dogs in artworks often carry symbolic meanings, depending on the context or style of the artist. In this article, we explore this fascinating topic by discussing the Symbolism of Dogs in Art and the Top 10 Most Famous Dog Paintings.

The Symbolism of Dogs in Art

Dogs have been a part of human life for thousands of years. They are loyal, empathetic, and protective animals that have earned the title of man’s best friend.

In art, dogs have served as symbols of fidelity, unconditional love, courage, and intelligence, among others. They have been used to represent human emotions and virtues as well as social classes.

In some societies, dogs were considered sacred animals and were associated with deities. Dogs as Man’s Best Friend and Personal Companions

One way that dogs have been represented in art is as personal companions.

Artists often portrayed dogs as loyal and empathetic animals that serve as emotional support to their owners. One of the famous examples of this is the painting of a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel in The Arnolfini Portrait by Jan van Eyck.

The dog, which is sitting between the feet of Giovanni Arnolfini and his wife, has been interpreted to symbolize loyalty and fidelity, as well as the couples wealth.

Dogs as Symbols in Art History

Dogs have also been used as symbols in art history to represent different themes and ideas. In the Renaissance period, for example, dogs were often depicted in hunting scenes, where they symbolized nobility, wealth, and power.

One famous example of this is Titians Venus of Urbino, where the dog lying at the feet of the reclining woman is seen as a symbol of fidelity and loyalty. In contrast, the inclusion of a small dog in the lower foreground of one of Francisco Goyas Black Paintings, The Dog, is used instead to evoke feelings of fear and anxiety.

The Top 10 Most Famous Dog Paintings

1.

A Couple of Foxhounds by George Stubbs

A Couple of Foxhounds is a renowned portrait of two dogs painted by George Stubbs in the 18th century.

The painting shows the two animals in a relaxed pose, looking confidently at the viewer. It has been credited as one of the earliest and finest examples of animal portraiture in art history.

2.

The Dog by Francisco de Goya

The Dog by Francisco Goya is a painting that depicts a dog in a seemingly frightened and intimidated pose.

The painting is from the series of Black Paintings that Goya painted on the walls of his house near Madrid. The ambiguous and unsettling nature of the work has fascinated art lovers for decades.

3. The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp by Rembrandt van Rijn

The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, painted by Rembrandt in 1632, showcases a group of men looking down at a dissected corpse while a dog looks up at them from the foreground.

The painting is considered a masterpiece of the Dutch Golden Age and is still on display at the Mauritshuis museum in The Hague. 4.

Doge Leonardo Loredan by Giovanni Bellini

Doge Leonardo Loredan by Giovanni Bellini is a portrait of a Venetian nobleman with a small dog by his side. While the dog is in the background, it still plays an important role in the composition of the painting, serving as a symbol of the doge’s wealth and power.

5. Dogs Playing Poker by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge

Dogs Playing Poker is a series of oil paintings created by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, depicting dogs playing a game of poker.

The series has become an iconic example of popular culture art. 6.

Whistlejacket by George Stubbs

Whistlejacket is an iconic painting of a famous racehorse, named after a hunting dog. The painting was created by George Stubbs in 1762 and is still on display at the National Gallery in London.

7. Dogs by Henri Matisse

Dogs is a lively and playful painting by Henri Matisse.

It shows two dogs in motion with their tongues out, surrounded by colored shapes and patterns. The painting is considered a triumph of 20th-century art by the renowned French artist.

8. The Hunt, The Morning After by Winslow Homer

The Hunt, The Morning After is a painting by American artist Winslow Homer that depicts a scene of post-hunting, with dogs and horses resting in the background.

The painting is considered one of the artists greatest works and is part of the permanent collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. 9.

The Dog by William-Adolphe Bouguereau

The Dog is a poignant piece by French artist William-Adolphe Bouguereau. The painting shows a small girl holding her dog in her lap, with a deep sense of emotion displayed on her face.

The painting is considered to be one of the finest examples of the artists mastery of realism. 10.

Afghan Hound by Pablo Picasso

Afghan Hound by Pablo Picasso is a striking and colorful painting of a dog. The work is a quintessential example of cubism, with the dog’s form being broken down into jagged shapes and lines.

The painting is still on display at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City.

Conclusion

In conclusion, dogs have played a prominent role in art history, serving as symbols of human emotion, social hierarchy, as well as personal companionship. Depictions of dogs in art have evolved over time, showcasing different styles, techniques, and mediums.

Through the examples of the Top 10 Most Famous Dog Paintings, we can see how these animals have been represented in prominent movements such as Realism, Cubism, and the Dutch Golden Age. These artworks have stood the test of time, showcasing the enduring fascination that humans have with these wonderful four-legged creatures.

Dogs have played a significant role in the world of art throughout history. Through their presence in portraits, landscapes, and genre scenes, dogs have served as symbols of loyalty, devotion, and companionship.

In this article, we explore two specific topics relating to dogs in art history:

Dogs in Hunting Scene Paintings and European vs. British Dog Painting Artists.

We also examine the famous painting

Lady Hamilton by George Romney and the significance of including a dog in the work.

Dogs in Hunting Scene Paintings

Dogs have been frequently depicted in hunting scene paintings, particularly during the Baroque and Rococo periods. These paintings often illustrate the close relationship between humans and their dogs in the context of hunting and outdoor activities.

The dogs in these paintings are typically portrayed as competent companions, eagerly assisting their human counterparts in pursuit of prey. Some of the most famous examples of dogs in hunting paintings include The Hunt Breakfast by John Frederick Herring Sr., The Stag Hunt by Velazquez, and The Shooting Party by James Sant.

European vs. British Dog Painting Artists

The use of dogs in art was particularly popular among European and British artists in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Artists from different regions had their own unique styles and techniques when it came to incorporating these animals in their paintings. European artists such as Sir Edwin Landseer were known to paint highly detailed and realistic depictions of dogs, with special attention paid to the breeds characteristics and physical features.

On the other hand, British artists like George Stubbs were known for their depictions of hunting and racing scenes, often featuring dogs as integral components of the artwork.

Lady Hamilton by George Romney

Lady Hamilton is a portrait of the famous English beauty Emma Hamilton, painted by George Romney in 1782. The portrait depicts Lady Hamilton in full-length, wearing an elegant white dress with her right arm raised and her hand resting on her head.

Besides Emma’s striking beauty, the painting’s most notable features are the inclusion of a large greyhound situated behind Lady Hamilton and the poetical inscription written at the base of the canvas.

Background and Context of the Painting

The painting was created at the height of the artist’s career as a celebrated portrait painter in London. Emma Hamilton, the subject of the painting, was a famous socialite of the time, known for her remarkable beauty and her affair with Lord Horatio Nelson.

The painting was one of several portraits that Romney painted of Emma Hamilton between 1782 and 1786. This particular portrait was sold to Sir William Hamilton, Emma’s husband, and is now part of the collection at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Significance of Including a Dog in the Painting

The inclusion of the greyhound in Lady Hamilton’s portrait has been interpreted in several ways. Firstly, the greyhound was seen as a symbol of nobility and elegance, befitting Lady Hamilton’s own status as a prominent figure in London society.

Secondly, the greyhound is believed to represent loyalty and fidelity, two aspects that were critical to Emma Hamilton’s life. Finally, the painting’s inscription further reinforces the idea of fidelity, with the words “Beauty, truth, and love will forever bloom while Emma’s name survives.” The inclusion of the dog and the inscription suggests that Lady Hamilton was a woman worthy of admiration and respect from all who beheld her.

Conclusion

In conclusion, dogs have played a significant role in the world of art, serving as symbols of loyalty, devotion, and companionship. Their presence in paintings has helped to evoke great depth of emotion and symbolism in artworks, particularly during the Baroque and Rococo periods and in Europe and British.

Lady Hamilton by George Romney is a notable example of the use of dogs as symbols in art, along with the famous hunting scene paintings. The beauty and significance of dogs in art history continue to influence contemporary artists, ensuring that their place in the art world is secure.

Art is a representation of the emotions, thoughts, and feelings of the artist. It serves to challenge, inspire, and evoke strong reactions in viewers.

Two paintings that have left a lasting impression on art lovers are

A Couple of Foxhounds by George Stubbs and

The Dog by Francisco de Goya. In this article, we explore the significance of these paintings, delving into their stylistic approach, composition, symbolism, emotional expression, context, and biography.

A Couple of Foxhounds by George Stubbs

A Couple of Foxhounds is a portrait of two dogs painted by George Stubbs in 1792. The painting shows two hounds depicted in a relaxed pose, with one looking towards the viewer and the other being more contemplative.

The painting has been credited as one of the earliest and finest examples of animal portraiture in art history.

Description and Analysis of the Painting

George Stubbs utilized his skills as a painter to bring out the details, poise, and character of the foxhounds. The dogs are finely drawn with their coats and eyes shown in particular detail, depicting the play of light and shadow.

The dogs are painted in rich, warm colors and their poses, with one gazing straight ahead, and the other, resting their head on the other’s shoulder, helps convey a sense of closeness and kinship.

Stylistic Approach and Composition

The stylistic approach and composition of A Couple of Foxhounds are notable for their realism and attention to detail. This piece exemplifies Stubbs’ mastery of animal portraiture.

His rendering of animals is not limited to capturing their physical form but also involves conveying their individual character and personality, bringing the hounds to life through his brushstrokes. The painting’s composition is balanced and harmonious, with the dogs positioned in the foreground of the landscape, adding depth to the canvas.

The Dog by Francisco de Goya

The Dog by Francisco de Goya is a painting that depicts a dog in a seemingly frightened and intimidated pose. The painting is from the series of Black Paintings that Goya painted on the walls of his house near Madrid.

These works of art are haunting and dark, and they provide insight into the artist’s inner turmoil.

Symbolism and Emotional Expression in the Painting

The Dog is a painting that uses symbolism to evoke strong emotions in the viewer. The dog’s terrified face and shrunken posture are symbolic of humanity’s bleak and uncertain future.

Goya uses the dog as a metaphor for humanity, suggesting a warning that we are all living in a time of fear, anxiety, and political oppression. This painting is a reminder that even those with strength and courage can be brought to their knees by outside forces.

Context and Biography of Francisco de Goya

Francisco de Goya was a Spanish Romantic painter who is known for his exploration of the darker aspects of the human experience. His works often showcased a deep understanding of the human psyche, and he was regarded as one of the pioneers of the modern art movement.

Goya was known to create works based on his own experiences and observations, which often led to him being regarded as a controversial figure in his time.

Conclusion

In conclusion,

A Couple of Foxhounds by George Stubbs and

The Dog by Francisco de Goya are two separate works of art that showcase the power of art to convey a range of emotions, thoughts, and feelings. These artists employed different visual techniques to express the themes they sought to portray, such as the use of realism and attention to detail in Stubbs’ work and the use of symbolism and emotional expression in Goya’s.

Through their art, these artists explored the human experience, offering insights into the world around them and leaving a lasting impression on the art world. Art has the power to capture and convey the emotions and relationships that exist between humans and animals.

In the world of art history, two notable paintings that explore the bond between humans and dogs are

King Charles Spaniel by douard Manet and

Little Girl in a Blue Armchair by Mary Cassatt. In this article, we delve into the descriptions, analysis, styles, and significance of including dogs in these two remarkable artworks.

King Charles Spaniel by douard Manet

King Charles Spaniel is a painting by douard Manet, completed in 1866. The painting showcases a spaniel seated on a chair, with its alert and curious expression capturing the attention of the viewer.

Manet’s work is known for its modernized approach and departure from traditional artistic conventions.

Description and Analysis of the Painting

The King Charles Spaniel in Manet’s painting is portrayed with a soft flow of brushstrokes, giving it a sense of liveliness and movement. The dog’s carefully rendered fur and distinct facial features, particularly its expressive eyes and floppy ears, highlight Manet’s skill in capturing the canine’s essence.

The background is kept minimal, allowing the viewer’s gaze to focus solely on the dog and its captivating presence.

Impressionist Style and Representation of the Dog

King Charles Spaniel exemplifies Manet’s impressionist style. The artist utilizes loose brushstrokes and a play of light and shadow to create texture and depth in the painting.

This style allows for a sense of spontaneity and captures the momentary qualities of the dog’s form, adding to its overall sense of vitality. The focus on the spaniel as the primary subject underscores the importance of the animal’s presence and highlights its significance in the composition.

Little Girl in a Blue Armchair by Mary Cassatt

Little Girl in a Blue Armchair is a painting by Mary Cassatt, completed in 1878. The artwork features a young girl seated in a blue armchair, surrounded by various patterns and textures.

Cassatt was an American artist who played a key role in the impressionist movement and is widely acclaimed for her portrayals of women and children.

Significance of Including a Dog in the Painting

In Little Girl in a Blue Armchair, Cassatt includes a small dog sitting on the floor beside the girl. The inclusion of the dog in the scene adds an element of companionship and warmth.

Dogs are often depicted in Cassatt’s works, and they symbolize loyalty, love, and emotional connection. The presence of the dog in this painting serves to enhance the bond and relationship between the girl and the animal, conveying a sense of comfort and security.

Cassatt’s Style and Representation of the Relationship Between Girl and Dog

Cassatt’s style in Little Girl in a Blue Armchair is characterized by her use of soft pastel colors, delicate brushwork, and attention to capturing the fleeting moments of everyday life. The artist employs loose brushstrokes and subtle details to convey the intimacy and tenderness between the girl and the dog.

The connection between the two is strengthened by their mutual engagement, with the girl leaning towards the dog while gently holding a string for the dog to play with. Cassatt’s ability to express the love and trust shared between a child and their pet creates a touching and relatable scene.

Conclusion

In conclusion, the inclusion of dogs in artworks adds depth, emotion, and symbolism to the composition. douard Manet’s King Charles Spaniel and Mary Cassatt’s Little Girl in a Blue Armchair showcase the artists’ distinctive styles and their ability to capture the essence of the animals and the relationships they share with humans.

Through loose brushwork, careful attention to detail, and the use of light and color, Manet and Cassatt convey the unique connections between people and their canine companions. These paintings demonstrate the enduring appeal and significance of dogs in the world of art.

Dogs hold a special place in our hearts and have been prominent figures in the world of art for centuries. They have been represented in various contexts and styles, from hunting scenes to everyday life and even playful depictions.

In this article, we explore two distinct examples of dogs in art:

Hunting Dogs in a Boat by Winslow Homer and the Dogs Playing Poker series by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. We delve into the significance, depiction, and cultural impact of these artworks.

Hunting Dogs in a Boat by Winslow Homer

Hunting Dogs in a Boat is a painting by Winslow Homer, completed in 1874. The artwork portrays a scene of two hunting dogs resting in a boat, surrounded by hunting gear and the tranquil backdrop of a pond or river.

Depiction of Dogs in Everyday Life Scenes

Homer was renowned for his ability to capture everyday life scenes with great precision and authenticity. In Hunting Dogs in a Boat, he showcases the dogs as integral components of the hunting experience, highlighting their role as steadfast companions.

The dogs are depicted in a moment of rest, occupying a space that represents their shared bond with the hunter and their active involvement in the hunting expedition.

Location and Setting of the Painting

The setting of Hunting Dogs in a Boat is a peaceful waterscape, with subtle hints of nature’s beauty. The boat serves as a platform for the dogs to rest, reflecting the calm before or after the hunt.

The setting provides a peaceful backdrop but also conveys the anticipation of the upcoming adventure, demonstrated by the presence of hunting gear. Homer’s attention to detail and his ability to capture light and atmosphere create a sense of serenity within the painting.

Dogs Playing Poker Series by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge

Dogs Playing Poker is a series of oil paintings created by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge in the early 1900s. The series consists of various scenes depicting dogs engaged in a lively game of poker, showcasing their anthropomorphic qualities and human-like behavior.

Description and Analysis of the Series

The Dogs Playing Poker series captures the whimsical side of dogs by showcasing them engaging in a leisurely activity traditionally associated with humans. Coolidge’s paintings depict dogs exhibiting human-like emotions, from enthusiasm and competitiveness to anticipation and camaraderie.

Each painting within the series presents different breeds and personalities, adding diversity and playfulness to the narrative.

Popularity and Cultural Significance of the Series

Dogs Playing Poker has become an iconic example of popular culture art. The series has been reproduced and referenced countless times in various forms, attesting to its enduring popularity and cultural significance.

Coolidge’s portrayal of dogs humanizes them, allowing viewers to relate to their expressions and actions. The paintings serve as visual anecdotes, inviting viewers to explore the complexities of human behavior and social dynamics through the lens of these lovable canines.

The series has achieved widespread recognition and has been parodied and referenced in numerous films, television shows, and advertisements, further cementing its place in popular culture. Despite being seen by some as kitsch or lowbrow, Dogs Playing Poker has sparked conversations about art, humor, and the universal appeal of dogs in contemporary society.

Conclusion

Dogs have remained beloved subjects in the world of art, capturing our hearts and imaginations through their depictions in various contexts and styles. From Homer’s portrayal of hunting dogs in peaceful moments to Coolidge’s playful anthropomorphism, these artworks leave lasting impressions on viewers.

Whether they symbolize loyalty and companionship, capture the humor in everyday life, or invite us into a realm of imagination, dogs in art continue to captivate and connect with audiences across cultures and generations. Throughout the history of art, dogs have been depicted in various styles and contexts, serving as symbols, companions, and sources of inspiration for artists.

In this article, we explore two artworks that center around dogs:

Howling Dog by Paul Klee and

Head of A Dog by Edvard Munch. We delve into the styles, techniques, symbolism, and emotional expression present in these paintings, as well as the portrayal of dogs in portraits and the personal connection between the artists and their canine companions.

Howling Dog by Paul Klee

Howling Dog is a painting by Paul Klee, completed in 1928. The artwork portrays a dog in a state of distress, emitting a powerful howl.

Klee was a Swiss artist known for his unique style that bridged abstraction and expressionism.

Style and Technique of Paul Klee

Klee’s style and technique are characterized by his use of vibrant colors, simple shapes, and intricate patterns. In Howling Dog, he employs bold, angular brushstrokes, creating a sense of energy and movement.

Klee’s ability to reduce forms to their essence gives the dog in the painting a distinctive presence, emphasizing its emotional state.

Symbolism and Emotional Expression in Howling Dog

Howling Dog can be interpreted as an expression of the artist’s inner turmoil, reflecting a world in crisis during the time it was painted. The howling dog can be seen as a metaphor for the collective human experience, expressing feelings of fear, unease, and desperation.

Klee’s use of vibrant colors and dynamic brushwork highlights the intensity and urgency of the dog’s cry, evoking an emotional response from viewers.

Head of A Dog by Edvard Munch

Head of A Dog is a portrait by Edvard Munch, completed in 1901. The artwork showcases a close-up of a dog’s head, capturing the intense gaze and expressive features of the animal.

Munch was a Norwegian artist known for his exploration of human emotions and psychological states.

Portrayal of Dogs in Portraits

Dogs have long been portrayed in art, not only as independent subjects but also within the context of portraiture. The inclusion of dogs in portraits can serve various purposes, including symbolizing loyalty, companionship, or representing the status and identity of the sitter.

Dogs bring an added layer of warmth, storytelling, and emotional connection to these portraits, enhancing the overall impact of the artwork.

Connection Between Munch and His Dogs

Edvard Munch had a deep personal connection with dogs, often considered them as sources of comfort and companionship in his life. His paintings, including Head of A Dog, exhibit a tenderness and intimacy when capturing the essence of the animal.

The portrayal of the dog’s gaze in Munch’s painting suggests a connection between the artist and his subject, highlighting the bond he felt with his canine companions and their profound influence on his art. Munch’s renowned painting, The Scream, also features a dog in the background, possibly representing a witness or symbolizing the connection between animal instinct and human emotion.

Dogs were integral to Munch’s life and artistic vision, serving as sources of inspiration and providing a sense of solace and understanding.

Conclusion

Dogs have left an indelible mark on the world of art, appearing in various styles, contexts, and forms of expression.

Howling Dog by Paul Klee and

Head of A Dog by Edvard Munch exemplify the power of dogs as subjects, symbols, and sources of connection and emotional expression.

Through their unique artistic styles, these paintings invite viewers to contemplate the deeper meaning and connection between humans and animals. Dogs continue to inspire artists, enriching the artistic landscape and reflecting the enduring bond that exists between humans and their loyal animal companions.

Dogs have often served as subjects and sources of inspiration for prominent artists throughout history. In this article, we explore two artworks that center around dogs:

Dog by Pablo Picasso and

Portrait of Maurice by Andy Warhol.

We delve into the artists’ depictions, their styles, techniques, and the symbolism behind these portraits, as well as the personal connections between the artists and their canine muses.

Dog by Pablo Picasso

Dog is a painting by Pablo Picasso, completed in 1953. The artwork portrays a simplified yet playful representation of a dog.

Picasso, known for his contributions to modern art and his innovative style, often pushed the boundaries of artistic conventions. Depiction of Picasso’s Beloved Dog Lump

Dog is believed to be a representation of Lump, Picasso’s beloved Dachshund and constant companion during the 1950s.

Lump was given to Picasso as a gift and became an integral part of the artist’s life. Picasso’s depiction of Lump in Dog captures the essence of the dog’s playful and endearing nature.

The simplified form and bold, energetic brushstrokes convey a sense of movement and joy, reflecting the spirit of the animal. Symbolism of the Portrait in Relation to Picasso’s Friendship

The portrait of Lump in Dog holds deeper symbolism relating to Picasso’s friendship and emotional connection with the animal.

Picasso was known to form deep bonds with his pets, who served as sources of love, companionship, and inspiration. The simplified form in Dog emphasizes the essence of Lump’s character, demonstrating Picasso’s ability to capture the spirit of his subject’s personality.

Through this portrait, Picasso immortalizes Lump’s presence and celebrates the joy and connection shared between artist and animal.

Portrait of Maurice by Andy Warhol

Portrait of Maurice is a series of photographs and silkscreen prints created by Andy Warhol in 1981. The artwork showcases a series of colorful portraits of Maurice, the dachshund belonging to Gabrielle Keiller, a collector and close friend of Warhol.

Warhol’s Use of Popular Culture and Portraiture

Andy Warhol was a pioneering figure in the Pop Art movement, known for his exploration of celebrity culture and everyday objects. The Portrait of Maurice series demonstrates his interest in portraiture, as well as his fascination with the intersection of popular culture and art.

By depicting Maurice, a beloved pet, Warhol adds a sense of intimacy and individuality to his portfolio of famous subjects. The bright colors and bold compositions in his silkscreen prints infuse the portraits of Maurice with a sense of vibrancy, echoing the energy and spirit of the dog itself.

Connection Between Warhol, Gabrielle Keiller, and Maurice

Gabrielle Keiller, a prominent collector and supporter of the arts, and Andy Warhol shared a close friendship. Maurice, her beloved dachshund, played a significant role in their bond.

As a dog lover herself, Keiller introduced Maurice to Warhol, who subsequently became fascinated by the pet’s unique personality. The Portrait of Maurice series is a testament to the connection between Warhol, Keiller, and Maurice, serving as an intimate portrayal of their shared love and admiration for the dog.

Conclusion

Dogs have been a source of inspiration, companionship, and joy for artists throughout history. Pablo Picasso’s Dog and Andy Warhol’s Portrait of Maurice exemplify the artists’ abilities to capture the essence of their canine muses and express their personal connections to these animals.

Through their distinct styles and techniques, these portraits serve as tributes to the beloved dogs that brought happiness to the lives of the artists. Dogs continue to inspire artists and captivate viewers, reminding us of the deep emotional bonds that can exist between humans and their animal companions.

Throughout art history, dogs have held a special place in the hearts and canvases of countless artists. From Pablo Picasso’s depiction of his beloved Dachshund Lump to Andy Warhol’s vibrant portraits of Maurice, these artworks showcase the deep bonds and emotional connections between humans and dogs.

As symbols of loyalty, companionship, and inspiration, dogs have left an indelible mark on the art world, capturing our hearts and sparking our imaginations. Through their artistic expressions, these artists remind us of the beauty and significance of the relationship between humans and their four-legged friends.

They encourage us to cherish and celebrate the unwavering love and companionship that dogs bring to our lives.

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