Sunday, September 11, 2011

Cats in Art: The Effects of Intemperance (Steen)

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's post was Jan Steen's painting of Children Teaching a Cat to  Dance, and the week before it was his Children Teaching a Cat to Read

Guess I'm just on a Jan Steen roll right now (I greatly admire him and his attention to detail).

Image credit Gandalf's Gallery, here. Jan Steen, The Effects of Intemperance, c. 1663-1665, oil on wood, 76 cm x 106.5 cm.  I am unsure about where this particular work is held. From Gandalf's description:

The woman slumped on the left, whose purse is being picked by a child on the extreme left, is sleeping off the effects of alcohol. As in many other paintings by Steen, it is the foolishness of their elders that encourages the children to misbehave. Here the child throwing roses to the pig illustrates a popular saying about foolish behaviour (to throw roses before swine). In the background an old man is seducing a young girl, another of the pitfalls of alcohol. As in many of Steen's paintings the coarse subject is in sharp contrast to the refined rendering of the various textures of the objects on the floor and the shimmering fabrics.

Oh, and in the center right a cat is being spoiled...just like things are meant to be.

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