Sunday, March 6, 2011

Cats in Art: Last Supper (Ghirlandaio)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I'm using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi.

Last week I put up another version of the Last Supper, by Huguet.  In this image by Domenico Ghirlandaio, the cat in the foreground is a bit smaller and less prominent, but much closer to Christ.

Image and comment credits hereLast Supper: Domenico Ghirlandaio (1449-1494, fresco, 1480, held by Museu Di San Marco, Refectory, Florence, Italy.
With customary ease, Ghirlandaio fills the lunettes with large trees and birds in flight against a bright sky whose light is reflected onto the right-hand wall where an open window frames a perching peacock. The rest is in shadow. Two flower-displays complete the frame which encloses the space. A cat, waiting patiently for a hoped-for scrap of meat, lends a touch of intimacy and domesticity that is rarely lacking in Ghirlandaio.

So...over 500 years ago, Ghirlandaio paints a fresco that still exists today, and in it captures so well the "touch of intimacy and domesticity" that is the embodiment of cats.


1 comment:

  1. I am a bit confused about one thing; on the internet as well as this version of Ghirlandaio's last supper, I have seen one where there is no cat. Did he make two?