Sunday, January 12, 2014

Cats in Art: Nude With Cat (Marc)

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 my fifth post on Franz Marc (1880-1916), a key German painter whose life tragically ended early on the Western Front in 1916. This will be a multi-week series (I am still uncovering his cat works).

Image credit The Atheneum, hereNude With Cat, Franz Marc, 1910, oil on canvas, 34" x 31", held by St├Ądtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus (Germany).
Other than the fact that the naked woman may appear to be drowning the poor kitten in a saucer of milk, this is an interesting painting.  The scene is outdoors, with the nude seated on a cushion on the steps, trying to get the kitten to drink.
One may speculate that the kitty is an outdoor cat, unused to humans or milk, and needs to be persuaded that both are really OK.  Marc's choice to make the nude heavy and muscular may be a deliberate choice to contrast with the tiny size and vulnerability of the kitten.  I'd call the cat's color orange, but the bride likes to call such cats butterscotch.
I personally am struck with Marc's use of primary colors--oranges, yellows, greens, and blues, which lend an air of simplicity and innocence to the scene.  All in all, an interesting painting.

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