1590 Ambroise Dubois (Flemish-born French artist, 1542-43–1614-15) Gabrielle d'Estrees as Diana the Huntress with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. She has dogs, deer, a bow & quiver, a hunting horn, & a crescent moon in her hair.
Early European portrait artists painted their contemporaries as allegories. Allegorical portraits remained popular for several centuries, as they expanded to show the female sitter as a Biblical figure, a Greek or Roman goddess, or poetic muse, or nymph in in a rustic setting.
1630 Claude Deruet (French artist, 1588–1660) Marie de Rohan, Duchesse de Chevreuse as Diana the Huntress. She has dogs, a bow & quiver, a hunting horn, & a crescent moon in her hair.
1640 Willem van Honthorst (Dutch artist, 1594-1666) Henriette von Nassau as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. She has a bow & quiver with feathers in her hair.
1640-50s Attributed to Giovanni Domenico Cerrini (Italian artist, 1609-1681) Christina, Queen of Sweden Alexandra Maria Vasa (1626-1689) as Diana. Here she has her dog & a hunting spear. The crescent moon hangs in the sky above them.
1650 Charles Beaubrun (Charles Bobrun) (French artist, 1604–1692) Portrait of a lady as Diana. She has a dog & a bow.
1650 Jan van Mijtens (1613-1670) Lady as Diana. She has a tiny lap dog/hunting dog & carries a quiver on her back.
1666 Giovanni Maria Morandi (Italian painter, 1622-1717) Claudia Felicitas of Austria as Diana. She has a crescent moon in her hair, carries a hunting spear and has a dog at her side.
1667 Claude Lefèbvre (French painter, 1633–1675) Louise de La Vallière as Diana. She has a quiver & bow as well as her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion.
1670s Copy of Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Mary II (1662–1694), when Princess Mary of York, as Diana. She has a crescent moon in her hair, a bow & arrow & only the head of her dog companion is visible.
Style of Peter Lely Peter Lely (English artist, 1618-1680) Ann Fanshawe (b.1654), Daughter of Sir Richard Fanshawe as Diana with a deer.
1674 Jacob Huysmans (Flemish artist, c 1633–1696) Portrait of a Lady as Diana. She has dogs, a bow & quiver, a hunting spear, & feathers in her hair.
1670s-90s Giovanni Battista Gaulli (Baciccio) (Italian artist, 1639-1709) Diana the Huntress with her hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. Her bow & quiver lay on the ground.
1680s Jacob Huysmans (Flemish artist, c 1633–1696) Elizabeth Cornwallis (d.1708), Mrs Edward Allen, as Diana the Huntress with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. . She has a hunting spear, & an animal skin decoration, & feathers in her hair.
1688 Francois de Troy Lady Mary Herbert (1659–1744-1745), Viscountess Montagu, Previously the Honourable Lady Richard Molyneux, and Later Lady Maxwell, as Diana. She has a crescent moon in her hair, a dog, & an animal-skin component to her costume.
1700-10 Nicolas de Largillière (French artist, 1656-1746) Portrait of Lady as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. . She has a bow & quiver nearby.
1700s Unknown French artist, Portrait of a Lady as Diana, Goddess of the Hunt. She wears a crescent moon in her hair and has an animal-skin wrap, a dog, a quiver & a bow.
1751 Pompeo Girolamo Batoni (Italian artist, 1708-1787) Sarah Lethieullier as Lady Fetherstonhaugh, as Diana. She has a crescent moon in her hair, a bow & a dog.
1765 Carle or Charles-André van Loo (French painter, 1705-1765) Luise Henriette Wilhelmine von Anhalt-Dessau as Diana. She has a dog, an animal-skin wrap, a bow & quiver, & a crescent moon in her hair.
1765 Francis Cotes (English Painter, 1726-1770) The Honourable Lady Stanhope and the Countess of Effingham as Diana, and Her Companion. Diana has a hunting spear & a crescent moon in her hair.
1773 after François-Hubert Drouais (French artist, 1727-1775) Marie-Joséphine-Louise de Savoie (1753–1810), comtesse de Provence, as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. She has a bow, & an animal-skin wrap.
1771 Robert Hunter (Irish artist, fl. 1748–1780) Lady Margaret Butler Lowry-Corry (1748–1775), as Diana. She has a dog & carries a hunting spear.
1787 Ludwig Guttenbrunn (Austrian artist, 1750-1819) A portrait of Marie Joséphine de Savoy, the comtesse de Provence as Diana with her faithful hunting dogs, Syrius & Phocion. . She has a bow & quiver, & a crescent moon in her hair.
Dog Days of Summer is the name for the most sultry period of summer, from about July 3 to Aug. 11. Named in early times by observers in countries bordering the Mediterranean, the period was determined to extend from 20 days before to 20 days after the conjunction of Sirius (the dog star) & the sun. The Greek poets Hesiod (ca. 750-650 BCE) & Aratus (ca. 310–240 BCE) refer, in their writings, to "the heat of late summer that the Greeks believed was actually brought on by the appearance of Sirius," a star in the constellation, that the later Romans, & we today refer to as Canis Major, literally the "greater dog" constellation. Homer, in the Iliad, references the association of "Orion's dog" (Sirius) with oncoming heat, fevers, & evil, in describing the approach of Achilles toward Troy:
The term "dog days" was used by the Greeks in Aristotle's Physics. Astronomer Geminus, around 70 B.C., wrote: "It is generally believed that Sirius produces the heat of the 'dog days,' but this is an error, for the star merely marks a season of the year when the sun"s heat is the greatest." The lectionary of 1559 edition of the Episcopal Book of Common Prayer indicates: "Naonae. Dog days begin" with the readings for July 7 & end August 18. But the readings for September 5 indicate: "Naonae. Dog days end." This corresponds very closely to the lectionary of the 1611 edition of the King James Bible which indicates the Dog Days beginning on July 6 & ending on September 5.
Sirius rises late in the dark, liquid sky
On summer nights, star of stars,
Orion's Dog they call it, brightest
Of all, but an evil portent, bringing heat
And fevers to suffering humanity.