The Softer Side of Ultrarunning
(anything beyond 26 miles)
Sunday, March 1, 2015
Cats in Art: The Cat in the Mirror (Balthus): 3 versions
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 4th of a series focusing on the art of Balthazar Klossowski de Rola--AKA Balthus. Just like last week, I'm going to offer you extra art: not one, not two, but THREE versions of this painting:
Image credit WikiArt. The Cat in the Mirror, Balthus, 1978, oil on canvas, 67" x 71", held in a private collection.
Image credit WikiArt. The Cat in the Mirror, Balthus, 1988, oil on canvas, 67" x 79", held in a private collection.
Image credit WikiArt. The Cat in the Mirror, Balthus, 1990, oil on canvas, 77" x 87", held in a private collection.
The size of the paintings-each about 10 years apart--gets larger, while the backgrounds get darker. The first 2 kitties are great, with wonderful facial expressions and apparent interest in their images in the mirror, while the final kitty is dark and nearly indistinguishable. The last cat could not even see its own face, given the angle of the mirror.
I especially love the 1988 kitty as it reaches for the mirror with a paw.
So it seems that as far as the cats go, unfortunately Balthus went downhill at the end. I'm not an art critic, but to me the girl figures in the first two paintings look, well, almost photoshopped into the images. The feet especially look unnatural. Only in the final painting does the girl actually look integrated into the rest of the image.