A picture of..


New Member
I teach Latin to a few homeschool students as much for the exercise in clear thinking that an inflected language provides as for any other reason. Today one of them submitted the sentence, "Canem pingebam". I asked if this did not mat the dog's fur horribly...
So, of course, I suggested that the proper object of pingebam should be picturam (maybe depingebam would be closer to "delineate" as opposed to "coat"), but then all I could suggest to put the dog back in the correct position was to copy the English idiom and use canis (genitive)

Should the object portrayed in a picture ("a picture of..."), in Latin, be in genitive?

Thanks for the help!


Staff member
If you wish to say "a picture of a dog", then canis will be in the genitive, yes. However, just like in English, there's nothing wrong with saying canem pingebam, "I was painting a dog", with the meaning of depicting a dog in painting rather than smearing paint over a poor actual dog.