Sunday, October 28, 2012

Cats in Art: Girl With a Black Cat (Boldini)

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 WikiPaintingsGirl With a Black Cat, Giovanni Boldini, 1885, oil on canvas, 22" x 16", held by Istituto Matteucci, Viareggio, Italy.
Zuffi observes: the viewer's gaze is drawn by the wide eyes of the young girl and the big black cat, that with some effort, she holds in her arms.  But while the girl has a vacant and rather absent expression, the cat is watchful, wary and alert.  Here is yet another version of the old and always fascinating theme of a girl and animal, brought together by the painter in a double portrait.

Indeed, it is the cat's eyes that arrest me in this painting.  The cat seems ready for anything, but to relax.  Hopefully the cat got a nice long nap for its trouble.

I should also note that Boldini was known as the "master of swish" for his flowing style of painting.  Click over to this site to see a number of his paintings--you'll see that the flowing style is obvious.


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