Dog and owner take adorable pics recreating over 300 classic paintings

a photo of dog finn and owner eliza posing as a classic van gough painting next to the painting itself
What a good boy (Picture:Getty/Mercury Press)
When lockdown boredom hit, painter Eliza Reinhardt got an idea for how to put a smile on the faces of her friends and family – with the help of her dog Finn. Eliza, 26, and Finn, four, have been taking photos reimagining paintings by art icons from Van Gough and Lowry to Frida Kahlo. The duo have so far recreated over 300 paintings – including The Scream, American Gothic, and A Friend In Need – by dressing up and using random items from around the house. Eliza, who’s originally from Iowa and now living in Denton, Texas, USA, says their new hobby has brought out working dog Finn’s natural modelling talent.

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She said: ‘Finn is a real rambunctious, kooky character, so he was perfect for doing these photos with.

‘At the start of the pandemic, I got laid off from my job at an art gallery and was suddenly left at home with Finn, but he didn’t like being left alone when I went to paint.

Undated handout photo issued by Eliza Reinhardt showing the painting Portrait of Anna Rosina Marquart, 1642, by Michael Conrad Hirt (left) reimagined by artist Eliza Reinhardt with her dog, Finn, as Portrait of Finnegan Dorman, 2020 (right) during lockdown. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday November 23, 2020. See PA story ARTS Dog. Photo credit should read: Eliza Reinhardt/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Portrait of Anna Rosina Marquart, 1642, by Michael Conrad Hirt (left) reimagined by artist Eliza and Finn as Portrait of Finnegan Dorman, 2020 (right) (Picture: PA)
Undated handout photo issued by Eliza Reinhardt showing the painting Baby (Cradle), 1917/18, by Gustav Klimt (left) reimagined by artist Eliza Reinhardt with her dog, Finn, as Babies (Cradle), 2020 (right) during lockdown. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday November 23, 2020. See PA story ARTS Dog. Photo credit should read: Eliza Reinhardt/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
Baby (Cradle), 1917/18, by Gustav Klimt (left) reimagined as Babies (Cradle), 2020 (right) (Picture: PA)

‘My mum suggested that I do something creative with Finn to include him, so I started doing the art recreations, getting my inspiration from paintings that had dogs in them.

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‘I realised he didn’t need to be just a dog – he could be anything – so that’s when we did a Van Gogh which had a mother and child in it, and he was the baby.

‘It opened up a world of amazing photo opportunities.

‘It’s nice to see how many people enjoy art without knowing, by looking at our work.

‘Everybody should be able to enjoy art so if me and Finn can make that happen for some people, that’s wonderful, and I’m thrilled.

Australian shepherds are a working breed, so they need a job to do every day, and, since I don’t live on a farm, that’s why we do this. He absolutely loves it.’

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Undated handout photo issued by Eliza Reinhardt showing the painting The Cholmondeley Ladies, 1600-1610 (top) reimagined by artist Eliza Reinhardt with her dog, Finn, as The Reinhardt Ladies, 2020 (bottom) during lockdown. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday November 23, 2020. See PA story ARTS Dog. Photo credit should read: Eliza Reinhardt/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The Cholmondeley Ladies, 1600-1610 (top) reimagined as The Reinhardt Ladies, 2020 (bottom) (Picture: PA)
To construct the scene, Eliza makes some of her own props, putting her artistic background to use. She also uses things like Finn’s toys to give their pictures an extra dash of fun.

‘There’s a comedic twist with what we do and people talk about our photos and don’t realise they’re analysing art which is incredible to me,’ she said

‘One time we recreated a painting of a girl getting ready in front of a mirror, so I put Finn in place of her and decided to switch the hair and beauty products to Finn’s brush, toothpaste and toys.

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‘Doing tiny things that switch it from copying it to reinterpreting it is really exciting.’

Now, Eliza and Finn have over 10,000 Instagram followers, with their photos earning a few thousand likes on every Facebook post.

Undated handout photo issued by Eliza Reinhardt showing the painting The Nightmare, 1781 Henry Fuseli (left) and reimagined by artist Eliza Reinhardt with her dog, Finn, as The Nightmare, 2020 (right) during lockdown. PA Photo. Issue date: Monday November 23, 2020. See PA story ARTS Dog. Photo credit should read: Eliza Reinhardt/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.
The Nightmare, 1781 Henry Fuseli (left) and reimagined by artist Eliza Reinhardt with her dog, Finn, as The Nightmare, 2020 (right) (Picture: PA)

Eliza said: ‘I never anticipated this little project to get this big online. It’s crazy – at first, it was just for my friends and family.’

She added: ‘I’ve always felt that there’s a strange stigma around talking about art, but this enables me to make art accessible to everybody.

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‘I get so many messages from people who make it a daily ritual with their kids to look at our daily photos which is amazing.

‘It’s nice to let kids enjoy things like this and is a baby step into looking at other art.

‘There’s such a mix of people in the community it’s created – some like art and some just like dogs.’

Finn also seems much happier ever since they started their project, so Eliza is hoping to keep it going for as long as possible.

‘The benefit beyond me enjoying creating these photos is that it’s improved Finn as well,’ she explained.

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‘He adores doing it – he won’t leave my side until we get the next photo done every morning.

‘I wish people could see him do it because he’s always so excited after he finishes each photo – he wags his tail and gives me high fives.

‘I’m hoping there’s enough art in the world to keep doing this with him because he loves it so much that I don’t think he could do a day without it.’

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