Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cats in Art: The Chess Players (de Man)

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. 


Image credit Azerbaijan Rugs, here. Cornelius de Man, The Chess Players, c. 1670, Oil on canvas, 97.5 cm x 85 cm, held by Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary.   

Zuffi comments:

In this home, a game of chess may mask an amorous "battle": as far as we can tell, the moves of the game are observed by a beautiful tabby cat, well cared for and groomed to perfection...This is one of the seventeenth-century works in which the cats' role as a domestic animal is most obvious.

Or maybe the cat is mentally beaming clues about strategic moves to the woman.

 

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