Boötes with two dogs depicted by Petrus Apianus (1533)

Two dogs follow at the heels of Boötes on this chart of the northern sky from Horoscopion Generale by Petrus Apianus (Peter Apian), published in 1533 at Ingolstadt. The tail of the Great Bear is at right, and Virgo is beneath Boötes’s feet. Boötes holds the two dogs on a leash in his right hand, which hangs by his side rather than being held up high as in most representations. In his left hand he carries a tall staff carved with a face, possibly intended to be his own likeness. The bright star between his thighs is Arcturus.

This chart is remarkable for reasons other than the dogs. As well as the familiar Greek figures it shows several Arab constellations, evidently derived from Apianus’s study of the Arab astronomer al-ūfī’s Book of the Fixed Stars. For the full chart see here.

On a second chart by Apianus published in 1536 (and again, in colour, in 1540), the leash is held aloft in the left hand of Boötes, and the number of dogs has increased to three. 

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Boötes followed by two dogs on this chart from Horoscopion Generale by Petrus Apianus (1533)