Monday, April 13, 2015

Cats in Art: Mr. And Mrs. Clark and Percy (Hockney)

[Sorry this is a day late--life interferes with blogging sometimes]

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.  

Image credit Tate GalleryMr. And Mrs. Clark and Percy, David Hockney, 1970-91, acrylic on canvas, 83" x 119", held by the Tate Gallery, London.

I'm back to images from the Zuffi book, who comments on this painting thusly:

This famous portrait depicts one of the most glamorous couples of the day, the stylist Ossie Clark and his wife, the model Celia Birtwell.  These are handsome, well-known people, their poses and look worthy of a magazine cover, surrounded by particular references to furnishings and taste.  Yet the painting's true protagonist may be the white cat, Percy, that, in deference to the millennia-old habits of his species, sits on his master's knees but is supremely uninterested in the scene, turning his back on the painter to gaze out the window.

First off, note that this painting is huge, some 7 feet tall and 10 feet wide--that's a big canvas!  And that Zuffi's observations are spot-on: Percy is basically being a cat, doing kitty things, to include ignoring things that are beneath his station in life.

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