Sunday, July 16, 2017

Cats in Art: A Hidden Feast (Paton)

Pardon this reposting, life has intervened.  This from 5 years ago.  Original link is here.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. In my first post on 1 July on the artist Frank Paton, I was using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi. In researching Paton I uncovered several other cat works, so the entire month of Sundays in July will be devoted to him.



Image credit artnet galleries, here [click to enlarge].   A Hidden Feast, Frank Paton, 1881, oil on canvas, 38" x 34", private collection.

I guess the title comes from the fact that the dogs are swiping food from a vendor`s cart while he is chatting with another man.  Cats, of course, NEVER steal food.  Never.

Besides the cat in the foreground, who hopes to cash in on the dogs' bad behavior, we see two other cats in the background with the men.  These must be the good kitties.

As for the art, Paton again demonstrates his great skill at depicting animals accurately and with warm realism.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Cats in Art: The Painter's Studio (Courbet)

[Sorry for no post past week]

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  You really should check out and/or own both of these wonderful works, easily available on Amazon or eBay (and I have no financial interest).



Image credit Gustave Courbet web site, The Artist's Studio, Gustave Courbet, 1855, oil on canvas, 141" x 232", held by Musee d'Orsay, Paris, France.

From the artist web site:

The enormous Studio is without doubt Courbet's most mysterious composition. However, he provides several clues to its interpretation: "It's the whole world coming to me to be painted", he declared, "on the right, all the shareholders, by that I mean friends, fellow workers, art lovers. On the left is the other world of everyday life, the masses, wretchedness, poverty, wealth, the exploited and the exploiters, people who make a living from death". 

And Bugler's analysis:

Although Courbet wrote about the symbolic role of all the figures played ion this vast composition, he said virtually nothing about the cat; this has encouraged scholars to come up with a variety of theories to explain its presence.

My pet theory: Courbet liked cats.

Which brings me to the kitty close-up, from front and center of the painting:



Just for kicks, let's contrast this vibrant, colorful painting from a website dedicated to the painter, with the flat, gray version that appears on the website of the actual holder, the famous Musee d'Orsay in Paris:



The bride and I are fortunate to be traveling to Paris this fall, and will be able to stand in front of this huge painting--it's a stunning 12' tall and some 19' long--and survey it.  Wow, I can't wait!

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]



Sunday, June 25, 2017

Cats in Art: Henry Clark's Mother-in-Law...(Hunt)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  You really should check out and/or own both of these wonderful works, easily available on Amazon or eBay (and I have no financial interest).



Image credit The Athenaem, Henry Clark's Mother-in-Law, Mrs. Davies and Four of Her Children in the Drawing Room of Her Home, William Holman Hunt, 1846, oil on canvas, 30" x 24", held by Geffrye Museum - London.


And the kitty close-up, including a couple of the strange-looking children:



And what is that over on the right, on the rug just in front of the fire?  A hat, a cat, a cow head, or a skunk?



This has to be one of the creepiest paintings containing a cat, ever.  Those four kids, in addition to being physically disproportioned, simply look possessed, while the mother looks, well, determined.  Or something.  About what, we do not know.  But the only normal thing in the painting is the white cat.

It may take a trip to London, to the Geffrye Museum, to actually stand in front of this painting, to figure this one out.

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]

Thursday, June 22, 2017

George Carlin...and Flamethrowers

I've not been political for awhile here at Mister Tristan (the blog, not the 9-year-old human being), but the anniversary of the late George Carlin's death on 22 June 2008 is sufficient cause to take a break from cats.

I only wish that George were here today to help us make sense out of this trying political time.  He would have been great source of "the emperor has no clothes" wisdom.

Embedded below is a 70-second YouTube clip of George discussing flamethrowers.  If it playeth not, the link is right here.

You know you want to watch it....just go ahead....





Sunday, June 18, 2017

Cats in Art: The Awakening Conscience (Hunt)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  You really should check out and/or own both of these wonderful works, easily available on Amazon or eBay (and I have no financial interest).


Image credit The Tate Museum, The Awakening Conscience, William Holman Hunt, 1853, oil on canvas, 30" x 22", held by The Tate Museum, London, England.


And the (unfortunately dark) kitty close-up, from the left edge under the table:




Bugler tells us this:

The cat crouching under the table plays a central role in this drama of a young woman's moral wakening.  Just as an unfortunate bird is trying to escape its clutches, so the kept woman is rising from her lover's lap, suddenly aware of the the need to extricate herself from a sinful way of life.

Me?  I'm thinking that many times in our lives we find ourselves in a situation where the realization just dawns: this is wrong, this is bad, must bail (today's political landscape engenders in me the same helpless feeling and the desire to return to normality).

The cat seems aware of the woman's plight and in a strange way seems sympathetic, as evidenced by the cat's interested and almost pleading expression: "Do the right thing!"


[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Cats in Art: The Commentator on the Koran (Lewis)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  You really should check out and/or own both of these wonderful works, easily available on Amazon or eBay (and I have no financial interest).

This my fifth and probably final post on the cat art of John Frederick Lewis.




Image credit The Great CatHarem Life in Constantinople, John Frederick Lewis, no other information available.

And the kitty close-up from over on the left:




Actually, there's another tiny kitten lurking under the table, probably best seen in the full size image rather than this grainy mess:




All I can say is that Lewis was quite adept at capturing the realistic likeness of cats.  Not just the actual painted image, but somehow also capturing the vibe, the essence of catness.  His cats just seem to elicit an "ah!" feeling from me when I look at them.

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]



Sunday, June 4, 2017

Cats in Art: Harem Life in Constantinople (Lewis)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  You really should check out and/or own both of these wonderful works, easily available on Amazon or eBay (and I have no financial interest).

This my fourth post (of at least 5) on the cat art of John Frederick Lewis.






Image credit The Great Cat, Harem Life in Constantinople, John Frederick Lewis, no other information available.

And the kitty close-up:


I'm not sure who is the better lounger, the woman or the cat.  Wait, I know: it's the cat.  Paws down.


[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Cats in Art: Study of a Lioness (Lewis)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  You really should check out and/or own both of these wonderful works, easily available on Amazon or eBay (and I have no financial interest).

This my third post (of at least 5) on the cat art of John Frederick Lewis.


Image credit Google Arts and Culture, Study of a Lioness, John Frederick Lewis, 1824, watercolor, 17" x 14", held by Yale Center for British Art.

This almost seems like a close-up from a heroic Vatican painting of heaven or something, as the lion seems to be in the clouds.  She must have have been a very good kitty.

I like Lewis' capture of the fierce and deadly jaws of this great cat.  Note also the powerful shoulder.  Huge paw.  If you mess with this critter, you will die.  No question.  

As with the male lion last week, I assume that Lewis was able to observe this cat in captivity to be able to render such an authentic image.

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]