Sunday, June 3, 2012

Cats in Art: The Dead Cat (Gericault)

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.

Click image for larger, ESC to return. Image credit Wikipaintings, hereThe Dead Cat, Theodore Gericault, 1821, oil on canvas, held by Musee du Louvre, Paris, France.

We previously saw Gericault's Portrait of Louise Vernet as a Child in this space back in Dec 2011, where a young girl--Louise Vernet--was holding one enormous cat.  With respect to this dead cat painting, Zuffi comments:

Rarely has the death of an animal been depicted in a more dignified way.  ON a bare bench, the cat's pale body is analyzed in all its stark reality, in the stiffness of death--its face contorted in a tragic grimace, its paws limp.  It is true that whoever has seen his or her cat die cannot be happy with a replacement, so important is the individuality and character of the one that has passed away.

So sad, so realistic.  Gericault gets it right.


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