“The miniature has the capacity to make its context remarkable; its fantastic qualities are related to what lies outside it in such a way as to transform the total context” - Susan Stewart, On Longing: Narratives of the Miniature, the Gigantic, the Souvenir, the Collection
"Bettina von Zwehl’s miniatures portraits of canines reference historical and cultural traditions far beyond their immediate context ... functioning as gem-like objects, [they] reflect the Renaissance attitude towards the non-human. Reverence for animals was not unique to Renaissance wunderkammern but was inherited from the Medieval period when animals, both real and fictional, were celebrated for their supernatural powers and otherworldliness. Revered for their symbolic potential as demonstrated by the popular bestiary form, animals - ascribed with human frailties and virtues - were used as tools for interpreting scripture and for demonstrating good behaviour. Unlike the hyena or snake, dogs were held in high regard in the Medieval and Renaissance imaginary and were believed to be intelligent, loyal, and self- sacrificing."
- Ciara Ennis, Extract from 'Bettina von Zwehl: Wunderkammer' 2020