Sunday, March 25, 2012

Cats in Art: Two Girls Dressing a Kitten by Candlelight (Wright)

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 ABC Gallery (click to enlarge), Two Girls Dressing a Kitten by Candlelight, Joseph Wright of Derby, 1768-1770, oil on canvas, 31" x 24", held by Kenwood House, London, England.

Zuffi comments:

Joseph Wright of Derby, one of the most fascinating painters of the English Enlightenment, particularly enjoyed nighttime effects, with artificial light and deep shadows...In this painting, the two girls have decided to dress a sweet, sad-looking kitten in the clothes of a doll, which lies discarded to one side.  The painting is charming, a small wonder of virtuosity in its handling of light and subtle psychological insight.

I know why the kitten is bummed out.  The doll's dress is obviously out of style and not all smart-looking.  A cat has to look sharp, you know.

I LOVE the lighting in this painting.  As I idly paged thru Zuffi's book I was immediately arrested by this striking image and stopped to eagerly read the entire description.  I must check out Wright's other works now.


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