Sunday, June 9, 2013

Cats in Art: Sitting Woman With a Cat (Bonnard)

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.

This is part 5 of 8 of a multiweek study of the cat art of Pierre Bonnard, a French painter (1867-1947). In this series I've moved beyond the two pieces featured by Zuffi and am now studying the rest of Bonnard's cat paintings in chronological order.

Image credit WikiPaintings, Sitting Woman With a Cat, Pierre Bonnard, 1898, oil on canvas, held in a private collection.

I just love the spare simplicity of this image.  The pensive woman, hands folded carefully on her lap, whose posture seem stiff and unrelaxed, seems to be pondering something with eyes closed.  Or, is observing the cat at play--one cannot tell.

The setting appears to be along a gravel path in a flower garden, but whose plants yield only foliage with no flowers.  I sense a tension between the carefree cat and the woman, whose demeanor seems anything but relaxed.

One has to wonder what restless thoughts she is thinking.


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