I'm guessing it wasn't Da Vinci

We’ve all seen it a million times - the picture of dogs playing poker (or the variation of the dogs playing billiards). Who painted this masterpiece and where’s the original (I’m hoping its very close to the Mona Lisa in the Louvre)?

I wonder if it’s a take-off of some other famous Old Master?

The original artist was Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. A short blurb about him can be found on this page:

More Dogs Playing Poker sites:

There is a slightly longer blurb on him in The Big Damn Book of Sheer Manliness, by Todd von Hoffman (ISBN#1-57544-050-4). It claims that he founded the first bank and the first newspaper in Antwerp, NY.

Then he started selling his canine portraits.

Apparently, the company that sold them, Brown & Bigelow, is still in business, and Coolidge’s daughter is marketing new stuff based on her father’s paintings.