Apr 1, 2017

It's a Dog! No It's a Flower Honey

This picture hung in our family home until mama told me in recent years to take it home with me. It always caught my attention from a young child on. It is a simple vase of flowers yet so much more. Join me today won't you as I talk about "The Dog Picture"!

As a small child I actually can remember looking up, even climbing up on furniture to see the dog in this picture.  Yes, you heard me there is a dog in this picture and I won't hear otherwise! Smiling as I say that!

Mama would sweetly say to me, "Honey those are flowers"?  "I don't see a dog".  Those were fighting words to this girl and I remember it to this day! She said I always argued with her about this.  It seems I was a sassy, feisty little girl! If you ask Chuck today he will say that I still am, but that's another story! :)

You may see a vase of flowers but I still see a dog.  Look at him, face nose eyes ears, do you see it?  I've been told all my life, "Dolly that is not a dog and I don't see a dog".  Well my girls see it now but otherwise all thought I was a crazy little girl.

There are a few scratches, some spots of paint and lots of fading because of the age.  It hung in some pretty bright sunlight for many years but still is so special to me.

I like the hanging tassel that is faded and frayed with time.  Can you imagine how pretty this must have been when new?  

Hanger shown in more detail here

The back of the picture.  The paper backing has all but disintegrated over time, only a few sections remain.  I don't know the reasoning behind the letter or symbol that appears in the middle of this. I also wonder is that paint or glue on the back of the picture?  I would love for it to be paint of course because that would mean this little number would be worth quite a lot!  Although, would I ever sell?  Of course not, I couldn't sell my dog picture!  My mama gave me this!

Closer view of the letter or symbol on the back
I saw another online with a different letter or symbol.

This photograph is very blurry but is of the signature or stamp from the artist or company.  I can feel the letters so if not a signature (how I wish) it was stamped or something.  The frame hides the last letter h.

One sold for half a million dollars a few years ago.  Antiques Roadshow here I come.  I'm just kidding I wouldn't sell it even if it were real. This is most likely a reproduction but one can dream!

The Artist:  Max Theodor Alexander Julius Streckenbach was born in Eckernforde, Germany in 1863.  He was known as their most famous artist. Son of a pharmacist he became known as "The Flower Painter".  He was a self-taught still life painter who enjoyed painting poppies, roses, tulips and poinsettias.  The poppy poppy, painted in many varieties, is regarded as his favorite motif.  From 1902 he also exhibited his works publicly and became quickly known on a regional basis.  In order to spread his works better, Streckenbach reproduced them as oil and four-color prints.  Several of his paintings were reprinted on the title page of Better Homes and Gardens. credit

One more shot of the picture and now I'm contemplating where to hang it. 

 I've always been hesitant to put holes in the walls and as Chuck points out we don't have many pictures hanging.  He would love more, in his former home he had so many things hanging and nails in the walls I'd never seen so many.  I think he has adjusted to fewer portraits, paintings on the walls now. 

 It is especially hard to decide where to put the next holes in the newly painted walls!  

My grandmother Goldie had pekingese dogs and I think that must be where I got it into my head that this was a dog.  Seeing her dogs I do believe made me think this.
Well, now I wonder just where did this picture come from?  Anyone that could answer my question is no longer with us. My mind is wandering and with daddy being in WWII just where this came from?  If it is meant to be I will find out.  Things happen like this with us you know.

Guess I'd better find a perfect spot for this sentimental beauty
Is it real or a copy?
Is it a dog or a flower?
In reality whether a copy or real (one can dream right?) 
It is a beautiful work of art from Mstreckenbach


  1. LOL- I saw the dog right away, Dolly. Not sure what kind of dog...lol...but I do see it. Isn't it funny how we see something and then can never 'unsee' it so it always jumps right out at us? What a treasure to have. xo Diana

    1. Hi Diana,
      Oh I knew you'd see it! It is strange and I can never look at this picture without seeing it, you are so right! lol. Good to hear from you xo Dolly

  2. It's a beautiful painting and I'd never part with it either. And I do see the dog. :-)

    I'd love to know how your mama came to own it too.

    1. Thank you Kim! :) I knew you'd see the dog too...If I ever find out where it came from I'll update!

  3. I have this exact same picture in my home. I found it at an Antique store unframed and had it framed. I am a Veteran and I Love the Poppies!! Flanders Fields!

    1. Hi and first of all thank you so much for your service! Flanders Fields from WWI? I love Poppies myself. I want to thank you for sharing your story with me.
      Now don't let my dog story make you see one every time you look at your beautiful antique!
      Good to hear from you!

  4. I have this SAME oil painting, but painted by my father's grandmother in the 1960s. She took up oil painting in her 60s and painted until she died in her late 80s. She was a prolific painter who even had an exhibition in the San Francisco Bay Area late in life. I inherited this one from my grandmother in 2005, who knew I always loved it as a child. I am JUST now finally framing it properly (I moved overseas in 2010 & had removed it from its frame & had it rolled all this time). I can't wait to see it on the wall of my Library/Office at home! Thank you for the history of the original painter. I had always wondered about that. On a related note, one day I was browsing with my mom in an antique store and came across the exact still life image painted onto an old card table. The antique shop owner thought it was Dutch, and sold it to me for $75. I hung it on my wall as a painting, next to my great-grandmother's version. When I prepared to move to the Middle East in 2010, I decided I couldn't bring it with me, and sadly, I sold it for a pittance at a garage sale. I could kick myself now, based on what you said about the antique road show item!!! It may have been worth very little, but it had a richer history/story attached to it, and sentimental value. I should have hung onto it. I loved your story about seeing the doggy in the painting.

    1. Hi,
      Nice to hear from you. What a wonderful story. I'm so glad you shared it with us. The painting seems to have an extraordinary effect on others, yet it can be totally ignored at times. Mine at this moment is standing in an extra room until I can finally hang it again. We've gone through several home repairs and after the last damage we haven't re-hung it. I do know that it will never leave the home though it is a part of my childhood that I don't want to get rid of. Thanks for your fond memories.

  5. I have the same picture with the signature and everything but the flowers and vase are raised like 3D. Is yours like that?

    1. I have it stored away, but I'll pull it out and see. I believe the signature is but not sure about the painting.