Oh my dog!

These are quite strange portraits: dog's faces. Looking directly into your eyes. Some beautiful dogs, some ugly ones, but have no doubt: each one is dearly loved. Because they all belong or belonged to VIPs, people like Jane Birkin or Yves Saint-Laurent. The photographer Antoine Schneck had this funny idea: to get to know people through their dogs. Get an idea of who they are, what they love, how they see themselves. 70 of these photographs are displayed in a little exposition of the Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature. And it’s worth going to see it, because the dogs are represented in a way that's usually reserved for the portraits of humans, which makes for quite a weird experience. You find yourself wondering why somebody would choose an ugly dog, a real beast over a nice one. Well, dogs don't just bark; it turns out that they actually speak volumes about their  masters. Take Moujik IV, for example: the forth edition of Yves Saint-Laurent's beloved bulldog. Whenever a dog of his died, the fashion designer would replace it with another one of the same breed, and gave it the same name as his predecessor. If you’ve ever shared your life with a dog, you'll know that it can't have been easy to get these guys to pose. The most difficult one? Alphonse, of course, Frederic Mitterrand's dog. He just wouldn’t sit still. Unfortunately, President Nicolas Sarkozy declined the invitation to have his dog, Clara, a golden Labrador, sit for the photographer. Clara? Yes, that's her name. Not to be confused with Carla, who also has a dog named Dumbledore, a Chihuahua. Strangely, viewing the portraits, you feel a sense of inferiority. Are we really the masters of our dogs, or are they, in reality, ours? FINISHED - Until 26 September 2010 - FINISHED Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature 62, Rue des Archives 75003 Paris Open every day from 11 h to 18 h Closed on Mondays and holidays Métro: Hôtel de Ville