I Cannot Tell a Lie
1996 by George Rodrigue
Acrylic on linen
30 x 24
Painted to hang in the 1996 Union Station exhibition “Blue Dog for President” in Washington D.C., I Cannot Tell A Lie represents one of Rodrigue’s most popular subjects — a Blue Dog-in-a-landscape. However, this painting is unique because it is only one of a handful of paintings that includes a tree other than the live oak for which Rodrigue is so well-known.
This tree refers, along with the painting’s title, to the famous George Washington story, when the 6-year old future first U.S. President confesses to his father, “I cannot tell a lie,” after he used his new hatchet on the family’s cherry tree.
Typical of Rodrigue’s style, he paints the dog not as a small animal at a person’s feet, but rather as a person, large-scale and eye-level, demanding the attention it so deserves.
(During the 1996 Union Station exhibition, the Rodrigue staff nicknamed this painting, jokingly, Don’t Pee on My Cherry Tree).