Sunday, May 25, 2014

Cats in Art: Paris Through the Window (Chagall)

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 the Guggenheim Museum, Paris Through the Window, Marc Chagall, 1913, oil on canvas, 52" x 55", held by the Guggenheim Museau, New York.

This image is multifaceted, and the more you look at it, the more you see.

My initial impression--from a distance--was that the cat held center stage (naturally!).  But closer up, the cat clearly has a human face.  But then you note the Eiffel Tower, and the very large window pane on the left.  

And what about the two-faced individual on the right?  Two-faced--it's almost too easy of a stereotype.  And the disturbing pair of bodies floating above the two-faced guy could be the focal point of the cat's attention.

So back to the kitty.  The poor creature seems sad or in distress.  In a location where Paris is spread out before you, distress seems to be the last emotion one would want to have.  Perhaps the kitty knows it's a house cat, forever inside-bound, fated only to ever see Paris through the window...and thus the title.

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