Sunday, January 11, 2015

Cats in Art: Cats Eyes (Freud)

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 will be 3rd of 4 posts dealing with the artist Lucien Freud.

Wikipedia tells us:

Lucian Michael Freud1922 – 2011) was a German-born British painter. Known chiefly for his thickly impastoed portrait and figure paintings, he was widely considered the pre-eminent British artist of his time. His works are noted for their psychological penetration, and for their often discomforting examination of the relationship between artist and model.

And, I might add, for his obsession with--and unflattering portrayals of--nudes in all genders, shapes and sizes.  

Image credit Bridgeman ImagesCats Eyes, 1949 (pencil + black ink on paper), 3" x 7", held in a private collection.

Maybe it's just me, but the cat eye on the left (the cat's right) looks rather human-like, while the cat eye to the right looks, well, cat-like.  Regardless, the extremely careful stippling to represent the kitty's short facial fur is spot-on, as is the "M" pattern--characteristic of the American Shorthair breed--between the eyebrows.

All in all, fine attention to detail in an approximately life-size rendering.  The cat seems OK with posing--at least for the moment--but appears open to bolting if a better opportunity offers.  Makes me wonder if Freud had a kitty of his own, or if he was using a kitty model?

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