Sunday, February 15, 2015

Cats in Art: Girl and Cat (Balthus)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I am using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi.  This is the second of a series focusing on the art of Balthazar Klossowski de Rola--AKA Balthus.

Image credit WikiArt.  Girl and Cat, 1937, dimensions and media not specified, held in a private collection.

The kitty is resting there in the right foreground, impassive, as though it were the Sphinx.  I wish the cat were not so dark, but it certainly is an excellent rendering.  Plus I wonder about the kitty's focus: while the girl is regarding the painter with a bored expression, the cat seems focused on something happening right in front of it, to the center, but just off-canvas.

While for me--of course--the cat is the primary object, I must note how the background of the painting is quite dark, with little detail.  Balthus bathes the girl in light to focus nearly all the attention of the viewer on her.

Though it pains me to admit it, the kitty is but an afterthought.

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