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George Rodrigue (American, 1944-2013)

Paintings

Biography:

George Rodrigue was an American artist best known for his portrait paintings of Blue Dog, based on a photograph of Rodrigue’s own dog, Tiffany. Rodrigue would fully explore all the nuances of his single subject, often inserting absurd backgrounds, surrealism, and other impish humor designed to delight the viewer.

Rodrigue was born in Louisiana, he was educated at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette, and much of his early work shows a predilection for painting landscapes of his beloved south. It wouldn’t be until the mid-1990s, when Rodrigue shifted to Blue Dog paintings, that he would find a larger audience and be launched to worldwide fame. His use of catchy, bright colors and his aforementioned humor made him an almost instant success. Indeed, Rodrigue would explore Blue Dog’s nuances for the rest of his life. He died relatively young in 2013 of lung cancer -- his work is now even more appreciated by the art community post-humously.

What type of art did George Rodrigue create?

George Rodrigue is best known for his portrait work of Blue Dog, based on a photograph of Rodrigue’s pet, Tiffany. These portraits, which featured a blue dog, large, luminous, and yellow eyes looking directly at the viewer, became extremely popular with the general art-appreciating public. He moved from here to portraits of people, including Walker Percy and Paul Prudhomme. p>

How often do George Rodrigue paintings come up for auction?

George Rodrigue has been popular for decades, thanks to his celebrity portraits, blue dog, and other pop work. As such, Rodrigue has an extensive history at auction. Since 2001, there is a record of nearly 400 pieces of his art sold at auction. Many of these are variants of the original Blue Dog portrait.

How much is a George Rodrigue painting worth?

George Rodrigue has many paintings that have sold for $100,000 or more. All of these feature Blue Dog in some way. Of those, almost all have outperformed even their high estimates, some close to double what they were originally estimated to go for. Only one isn’t a Blue Dog, The Class of Marie Courrege (1971), which features a 1971 class painted against a swamp background.

Which George Rodrigue painting is the most valuable?

The most valuable George Rodrigue painting is Chairman of the Board, 2010 (2010) which features the famed Blue Dog on a stool while wearing a necktie. It sold for $173,280 in 2015. That was over $50,000 more than the original high estimate -- worth noting especially since it sold a scant five years after it was made.

What are the most famous paintings by George Rodrigue?

All of George Rodrigue’s most famous paintings feature Blue Dog. There’s the aforementioned, Chairman of the Board, 2010 (2010), I HEAR THE BLUES, I SEE THE BLUES, I SING THE BLUES (Unknown), and even Angel on my Shoulder, 1997 (1997). The last of these features two versions of Blue Dog, one blue, the other red and sitting on the dog’s right-hand shoulder as a surreal landscape swirls behind them.


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George Rodrigue Original Art values sold at auction

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