Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cats in Art: Paul Cobb Metheun and His Sister Christian (Reynolds)

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

Image credit Great British Life, the actual full title is Paul Cobb Metheun and His Sister Christian, Later Lady Boston, Sir Paul Reynolds, 1755, oil on canvas, 85" x 71", held by Corsham Court, Wiltshire, England.

Zuffi's comment:
In Reynold's painting the serious demeanor of the little girl, comically dressed as a small princess, is counterbalanced by her brother's spontaneous smile as well as by the charming little scene of the cat that does not dare to jump because of a fear of the height, while the dog seems unaware of its presence.
Zuffi--usually spot on--is mistaken.  Cats are always right, and it is not fear of the height, it is just trying to figure out how to play with girl's flowers, or how to bite those little shoes.  Also, of course this buffoon of a dog is unaware of the cat.  Duh!  The dog is simply irrelevant to the cat.
Gotta also comment on this image--it is HUGE, about 6 feet by 7 feet.  And the title is rather pretentious: Paul Cobb Metheun and His Sister Christian, Later Lady Boston.  The kids' parents are obviously part of the 1% or whatever that number was back in 1755 England.

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