Sunday, September 2, 2012

Cats in Art: Woman Holding a Cat (Kuniyoshi)

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 ZazzleWoman Holding a Cat, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, 1852, colored xylograph, 14" x 10", held by private collector.
 
May as well continue with a Japanese theme...last week's post was a Hiroshige image.
 
Zuffi really gets into it:
 
A perfectly dressed and made-up geisha, wrapped in the silk of an embroidered kimono, attempts to ward off the excessive affections of a magnificent white cat.  It is a pet, but also a sort of refined "domestic furnishing," as demonstrated by the knotted ribbon around its neck and its soft, carefully brushed fur, into which the woman sinks her fingers with pleasure.  There is an interesting contrast between the cat's onslaught and the much more dangerous scene depicted in the background, in which a gigantic octopus is threatening a small fishing boat.
 
 
Wow...getting kinda steamy here.  Good thing it's in a private collection, otherwise I'd have to hop a plane to check it out firsthand.
 
One of our cats, De Beere, is what we call a "face kitty," meaning she likes to burrow into your neck and face and lick.  It's fun for a moment but then you go into defensive mode like the geisha above depicted by Kuniyoshi.
 
 

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