Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cats in Art: Two Cats (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 fourteenth post on Franz Marc (1880-1916), a key German painter whose life tragically ended early on the Western Front in 1916. Maybe he even knew my great-grandfather. This will be a multi-week series (I am still uncovering his cat works)



Image credit The Atheneum, hereTwo CatsFranz Marc, 1913, Gouache and Indian ink,  3.5" x  5.5", held by Franz Marc Museum, Kochel, Germany.

Unlike the kitties of the past couple weeks, which were engaged in play, today's pair of cats are just kinda hanging out.  Maybe the play is over, maybe these are old cats that don't really cavort around much, but these guys are relaxed.  The red/orange kitty up front seems dead out, while the one in the back is regarding the painter through mostly-closed eyes. 

There are a couple items of note here: first is Marc's incorporation of the night sky--stars, and a crescent moon over there in the upper left.  I just love the use of celestial images in paintings: stars, moon, cats--what's not to like?

The other thing is a phenomenon I have noted before with a couple other painters.  When you look at an image on the web or in an art book, it's two-dimensional.  You just don't have any sense of depth...nor do you have a sense of original size.  And that's the thing about this image: it is TINY, only a hair larger than your typical 3 x 5 notecard.




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