Sunday, December 25, 2016

Cats in Art: "Madonna Cat" (Mind)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.   

This is the third of several posts on the works of Gottfried Mind, AKA The Raphael of Cats.



Image credit The Great Cat, title unspecified, Gottfried Mind, no other information available.


And the kitty close-up:



I was going to post a famous Christmas painting that contained a cat...only I totally struck out in locating such an image.  There were plenty of opportunities to insert a cat into a famous painting but so far as I could tell, there is no "great master" with a Christmas theme and a cat.

So I elected to remain with the art of Gottlieb Mind for another week and searched his images for a kitty with a Madonna-like expression.  

Look at that cat face: the word that comes to mind is serene.  Much like Mary has been depicted in nativity art over the ages.

The caveat, of course, is that Mind's works tend to be somewhat under the radar.  In fact, this image only comes from an art appreciation site called The Great Cat, thus I am relying on the unverified Internet that this is really a Gottfried Mind image.

So, suspend disbelief, as I have, and treat this image as a Christmas cat from the pen of Gottfried Mind some 200+ years ago.  Merry Christmas!


[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Cats in Art: A Cat in a Cage (Mind)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.   

This is the second of several posts on the works of Gottfried Mind, AKA The Raphael of Cats.



Image credit The Great Cat, A Cat in a Cage, Gottfried Mind, undated, pen and ink with wash on paper, held in a private collection.


And the kitty close-up:


This image appears in Bugler's book with the image from last week of the cat having the upper hand. With this image, the shoe is on the other paw, so to speak.  She tells us:

In what appears to be a pendant to Cat Killing Mice in a Landscape, the mice have got their own back on their arch-enemy by imprisoning it in a cage--a most undignified gaol, in which it sits like an oversized bird.  The theme of mice taunting cats is an ancient one....It relates to the notion of "the world turned upside down," in which oppressors are held in bondage by those they normally oppress.

Mind's cat--if you look at the close-up--really does not seem to be too disturbed.  Its look is more one of interest rather than fear.  Perhaps it's been in the slammer before.

The life and works of Gottfried Mind is a PhD  project just waiting to happen.  I Googled "Biography of Gottfried Mind"and came up virtually empty.  Ditto for "Complete Works of Gottfried Mind."  Go ahead and try it--you'll find some bits and pieces, but there is no authoritative expert.

You could be that person.

For example, one search result that came back: seems that The British Museum does hold a work entitled "Mindiana, Life of Gottfried Mind."  But here is how it starts out:

The album is inscribed at the beginning with eleven pages of an account of the life of the artist, written by G. Fairholme: 'Life of Godfrey Mind. / commonly called / The Raphael of Cats * Amongst the endless varieties of character & disposition presented to our contemplation in the study of the human mind, it would be difficult to find one more worthy of our attention than the unfortunate subject of the present memoir: for the character of Godfrey Mind exhibits such an anomalism of mental powers, as has perhaps never been recorded, to a similar degree. This poor cretin may be regarded as a singular instance of innate natural talent of a high class, & of a particular kind, combined with almost total deficiency of reason, upon any other subject, however simple. 

"This poor cretin."  Really??  Art scholars: Get to work!  Now!

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]





Sunday, December 11, 2016

Cats in Art: Cat Killing Mice in a Landscape (Mind)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.   

After several posts on some art that the bride and I just saw in Italy on a wonderful visit in October to the Amalfi Coast, we are back to whatever passes for normal around here.




Image credit art.com (an art reproduction house), Cat Killing Mice in a Landscape, Gottfried Mind, ca 1800, pen and ink with wash on paper, dimensions unspecified, held in a private collection.

And the mandatory kitty close-up:



Bugler tells us about Gottfried Minds and this image:

Described in his own lifetime as feeble-minded (he was probably autistic), he nonetheless had one special gift: the ability to draw and paint cats.....Here is an oddly outsized tortoiseshell and white cat enjoying a gastronomic orgy; mice flee from his gluttonous paws.  According to contemporary reports, the artist's cat Minette was always by his side as he worked.  She luckily escaped the culling of more than 800 cats ordered by Berne authorities in 1809 in an attempt to counteract a rabies epidemic, but it is said that the artist never recovered from the mass slaughter of his favorite creatures.

Several of my observations:

--I credit this work to the site art.com, which sells art reproductions.  Since this work is held in a private collection, I was pretty unsuccessful at finding the work online in any other venue than a for-profit site.

--Note than in Bugler's analysis of the work, she says "...from his gluttonous paws..." when the cat, being a calico, is a female.  Bugler does correctly identify Mind's cat Minette (what a cool name!!) as a she a couple of sentences later.  

--This calico is in feline heaven--mice everywhere!

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Cats in Art: Espirit de Baculard d'Armand (Greuze)

Busy times these days, here's a short post from 5 years back that I still particularly like (it originally ran on 4 Dec 2011).

+++++++++++++++++++++
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 Scholar's Resource, here.  Espirit de Baculard d'Armand (or in English, The Son of Francois Thomas de Baculard d'Armand), Jean-Baptiste Greuze, 1776, oil on oval canvas, held by Musee des Beaux-Arts, Troyes, France.  

Zuffi observes, on the art of this period:
The cat faced up to this age of revolution and change with its customary nonchalance and proverbial adaptability.


In other words, tell me when it's over, but in the meantime, keep on petting me or I'll get even more annoyed than I am now....


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cats in Art: Church Fresco of Seeing Eye Dog

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.   

After several posts on the art of Chardin, I am diverting into some art that the bride and I just saw in Italy on a wonderful visit in October to the Amalfi Coast.


Here we have a series of three shots of the same painting, each one taken successively closer.  These are from the Duomo di Salerno (Salerno Cathedral) and date from the 1600s.


That's a dog, you say?  You'd be right.  For the first time ever here at my regular Sunday Cats in Art post, I will feature a dog.  Why?  Because it was beautiful art.


We visited a church in the lovely town of Salerno that supposedly contains some bones of St. Matthew, one of Jesus' twelve disciples.  You head down under the sanctuary to a crypt...but what a crypt it is!  Rather than being small and dank, this is a huge open room  with arches in the low ceiling, each of which has been painted with a Biblical scene involving St. Matthew.

Which Christmas approaching I figured it might be appropriate to use an image of Jesus healing a blind man:




And finally, the puppy close up:



What makes these frescoes great is that they are only some 20' above you, thus rendering them--to me and the bride--much more impactful than the famous paintings waaaaay up on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome.  Each circular painting here in Salerno is perhaps 8-10" across.   I didn't count but there are a couple of dozen at least.

Tucked away here.  Utterly stunning.

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!] 




Sunday, November 20, 2016

Cats in Art: A Lion Gutter Spout

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.   

After several posts on the art of Chardin, I am diverting into some art that the bride and I just saw in Italy on a wonderful visit to the Amalfi Coast.


Below are a couple of shots from a Roman villa near the Greek ruins of Paestum, Italy.




 Image credits Gary

So those crazy Romans thought it was worthwhile and important to create art in the form of lion's head gargoyles, if you will, while building their rain gutters.  A simple hole or spout just would not have sufficed.  My hat is off to those guys from 2,000 years ago.

For scale, this section of gutter is perhaps a foot and a half in length, making the lion's head about 5" or so wide.

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!] 

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Week Late: Armistice Day

[Gary Note: Blogging, of late, has been taking a back seat to life...which is as it should be]

Armistice Day...Every Family has a Story

I am reposting the same post I have put up for the past 6 years on 11 Nov, commemorating the end of World War I.

============================

For Veteran's Armistice Day (as it was originally called)....

Every family has a story. My mother told me of my great-grandfather, Julius (or Jules?) Brinkmann, who was killed on this date in 1918 in World War I on the Western Front.

Word of the armistice, which took effect the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, did not reach all the lines in real time. He was killed sometime later that day, AFTER the armistice.

He would have been one of the very last casualties of the Great War. You know, the war that was supposed to end all wars.

Oh, and he was a German. Funny, that really doesn't seem to matter, does it?

What is your family story? Please comment.

This is a generic photo, not of Julius--because my Mom's family lost ALL their possessions, including family photos, when they were bombed out in Frankfurt in WW II--but it could have been.





Photo credit here.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cats in Art: Fountain of Neptune (Naples, Italy)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.   

After several posts on the art of Chardin, I am diverting into some art that the bride and I just saw in Italy on a wonderful visit to the Amalfi Coast.


Below are a couple of shots from the city of Naples, of the Fountain of Neptune (link is here).  The fountain was built around 1600 and has been spewing water ever since.  The lions are approximately life-size.







 Image credits Gary

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!] 

Monday, October 31, 2016

My Very Own Halloween Cat

Pictured below is Ca Beere, our petite all black cat.  Black fur, black nose, black whiskers, and when she closes her yellow eyes she's pretty much an indistinguishable shadow.  Ca Beere is about the sweetest dispositioned cat we have ever had, always clamoring to be picked up or to sit on your lap.

Speaking of which, this morning she is shown on my lap, gathering her strength, for indeed, today is her day to shine.  She will be quite busy the rest of the day, I'm sure, performing her ceremonial Halloween functions.




Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cats in Art: Greek Vase (unknown Greek artist)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.   

After seveal several posts on the art of Chardin, I am diverting into some art that the bride and I just saw in Italy on a wonderful visit to the Amalfi Coast.



This urn (perhaps 2' or so tall) comes from the ancient Greek site at Paestum near Sorrento.  The Greeks were there some 2500 years ago, predating the Roman period.

The urn above just knocked my socks off, with the lion added as a purely aesthetic and decorative touch.  I keep thinking about the maker of this urn, who out of whimsey or art or frivolity decided that this urn needed a cat on it, lest it somehow be incomplete.

And then the kitty close-up:


This lion is perhaps 8" tall, and seems not so much interested in the urn's contents as it it in guarding said contents.   Perhaps from the snakes or horses found elsewhere on the urn?

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!] 

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Cats in Art: Still Life With Cat and Fish (Chardin)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.   

This is the third of several posts on the art of Chardin.







Image credit  Museo Thyssen-BornemiszaStill Life With Cat and Fish, Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin, 1728, oil on canvas, 25" x 31", held by Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain.

Very, very cool calico kitty over there on the left, totally intrigued by the plethora of fish.  As previous "owners" of a couple of calicos, the bride and I have a special place in our hearts for these tri-colored felines, whose genetic code for coloration renders all calico kitties necessarily female.

This girl is ALL business, ready to move on the free food displayed, right over there!  Again, Chardin gets it right with the facial expression of the cat, her eyes, her fur, her posture.  Obviously a cat "owner," from nearly 300 years ago and a continent away....


[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]





Sunday, October 9, 2016

Cats in Art: The Laundress (Chardin)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.   This is the second of several posts on the art of Chardin.





Image credit Arthermitage website, The Laundress, Jean-Simeon Chardin, 1730, oil on canvas, 15" x 17", held by The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.




And the kitty close-up:




From the Arthermitage website:


Painted in the 1730s, The Laundress is a masterpiece by Jean-Simeon Chardin, who took much pleasure in depicting scenes from the life of the ordinary people who inhabited the poor craftsmen's areas of Paris. In the room where a young woman works hard scrubbing clothes in the tub, everything seems to be suffused with a sense of quiet and calm, an impression created thanks to the combination of many elements in the painting: the simple, strict composition, the symmetrically arranged objects, the alternation of areas of light and colour. One of the most marvellous things in the painting is the female figure seen through the door, the space around her filled with steam. Although we cannot identify the source of the light, we can guess from which direction it falls. The painting has a very restrained colour scheme, the artist selecting each colour very deliberately and using it with great care to give a fuller sense of each object's reality and solidity.



Art aside, the composition of the scene intrigues me--especially I like the way Chardin has captured way cats like to be with people, but at the same time not exactly be with people...i.e., nearby and ready to interact.  Provided it's advantageous to the kitty.

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]

Cats in Art: The Ray (Chardin)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art


Image credit The Louvre, The Ray, Jean-Simeon Chardin, 1725, oil on canvas, 45" x 57", held by The Louvre, Paris, France.

And the kitty close-up:



Bugler tells us:

Chardin's early masterpiece is a painting in tow halves: on thee right are the kinds of humble kitchen utensil around which the artist constructed many still lives, and on the left is a tense drama played out between the kitten, making its way gingerly towards tow limp fish in the foreground, and the hideous ray or skate with an all-too-human face, grimacing menacingly in the background.

As for me, I found the kitten's face disturbing, mouth open, looking somewhat crazed (I like seafood too, but I hope I never approach it looking like this cat does!).

All in all, a dark and foreboding painting.

Zuffi also had this comment:

The secret and the magic of Chardin's paintings lie in their cold, sterile light, which seems to saturate objects, and in the intimate absorption that seems to endow them with a timeless existence.  The only living presence--and it is very much alive, with its bristling fur and demonic eyes--is the cat, who is more interested in the fish placed on the table than in the hug sea monster in the background.

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Cats in Art: Interior of a Townhouse (de Man)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  

Last week I put up a repeat post from the brush of Cornelis de Man, a Dutch painter from the 1600s.  After diligent searching I was only able to uncover one other example of a de Man with a cat:


Image credit The Athenaeum, Interior of a Townhouse, Cornelis de Man, late 1600s, oil on canvas, size unspecified, held in a private collection.



And the kitty close-up of the distasteful confrontation down at the lower center:


My guess about this domestic scene is that the dog-cat encounter is not especially remarkable, because of the four humans nearby, one is engaged with wood for the fireplace, a man and a woman are talking to one another, and it is only the last woman over at the table on the right who even seems to (barely) notice the animal dispute...making me think that these two critters were often after each other.

Regardless, this is a great example of ordinary Dutch life.  In fact, the sheer ordinariness of the scene is what arrests me so: chatter, work at the kitchen table, stoking the fire, and a couple of pets seemingly trash-talking each other.

As I often say, too bad that this painting is hanging in somebody's private collection rather than in a museum.  It would be great to stand in front of this work and see it in three dimensions rather than two, to see the brush strokes, the thickness of the paint applied, to look at how the eyes and the hands (and of course, the fur!) are painted....

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Cats in Art: The Chess Players (de Man)

Busy today so I am reposting a cool painting I featured here some 5  years ago.
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 Azerbaijan Rugs, here. Cornelius de Man, The Chess Players, c. 1670, Oil on canvas, 97.5 cm x 85 cm, held by Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, Hungary.   

Zuffi comments:

In this home, a game of chess may mask an amorous "battle": as far as we can tell, the moves of the game are observed by a beautiful tabby cat, well cared for and groomed to perfection...This is one of the seventeenth-century works in which the cats' role as a domestic animal is most obvious.

Or maybe the cat is mentally beaming clues about strategic moves to the woman.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Johnny Blaze....Arghhhh!

September 19 is Talk Like a Pirate Day.  There actually is an official website, here, where you can read more--much more, believe me--about this day.

Oh, the indignity!

This is the furred, four-legged cat son of of our daughter.  They have named him "Johnny Blaze," although, of course, his actual name is known only to him.




This would be a good time to observe that conventional wisdom has pirates typically saying "Arghhhh", but when you think about it, who really  knows how pirates actually talked? Surely there are no sound bites from the 1700s.

I propose that early on in the "talkie" era, when motion pictures were first accompanied with sound, that a film was made in which a pirate first said "Arghhhh," and that became the model for pirate speech thereafter to this very day.

You're welcome to the PhD candidate to whom I just gave his dissertation thesis.


Sunday, September 18, 2016

Cats in Art: A Cat Attacking Dead Game (Desportes)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  

This'll be the sixth  of several Alexandre-Francois Desportes paintings that will be featured here.





Image credit The Atheneum, A Cat Attacking Dead Game,
Alexandre-Francois Desportes, 1700s, oil on canvas, dimensions unspecified, held in a private collection.

And the kitty close-up:


OK, you've borne with me through a month and a half of mostly cats with dead stuff as imaged by Desportes.  Being tempted, as it were, to be bad kitties.  Mostly they failed (well, actually I guess they failed in every case, giving in to their natural hunting instincts).

But what I keep coming back to is just how marvelously Desportes captures these cats, and this bad calico is no exception....total focus, deadly intent.  Desportes manages to grab these behaviors while simultaneously capturing the physical details of fur, paws, face, and ears.  

As I often say, too bad that most of these Desportes paintings are hanging in somebody's private collection rather than in a museum.

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]






Sunday, September 11, 2016

Cats in Art: Still Life With a Cat (Desportes)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  

This'll be the fifth of several Alexandre-Francois Desportes paintings that will be featured here.



Image credit The Aetheneum, Still Life With a CatAlexandre-Francois Desportes, 1724, oil on canvas, no information on dimensions, held in a private collection.

The kitty close-up from the upper right of the painting:


I am blown away by the awesome detail that Desportes brings to this painting.  Just look at the face of this kitty, and the rendering of the fur and posture.

Those poor, pathetic mushrooms are about to be swept from the table and some real food pulled down.

Probably as much as--or more than--any painter I have featured over these past 5+ years of my Cats in Art posts, my hat is off to Desportes for his near-photographic realism of the feline form.  And I have to assume that any cat he "owned" was a lucky kitty, indeed.


[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]


Monday, September 5, 2016

Cats in Art: A Dog and a Cat Fighting in a Kitchen Interior (Desportes)

Gary Note: sorry this is is day late.  Life, etc.

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  

This'll be the fourth of several Alexandre-Francois Desportes paintings that will be featured here.




Image credit The Aetheneum, A Dog and a Cat Fighting in a Kitchen Interior, Alexandre-Francois Desportes, 1710, oil on canvas, no information on dimensions, held in a private collection.


And the disturbing kitty/dog close-up:



The dog is dead serious, and the cat is overmatched.  One can only hope that the dog's slashing attack missed causing serious damage, and that the kitty managed to high-tail it out of there.  And check out the close-up again: if there is such a thing as an artist painting an "Oh, shit!" facial expression on an animal, Desportes manages to do it right here.

However....did you notice the other kitties in the painting?  I almost missed them since the viewer's eye iis drawn immediately to the big fight.  There's a cat down in the lower left, another one immediately below the fight (looking strangely composed, despite all the action), and another just above the fight.  Plus that might even be a fourth cat lurking to the right of the dangling goose.

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]


Sunday, August 28, 2016

Cats in Art: Kittens at Play (Desportes)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art.  Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in ArtI am now using some ideas from Caroline Bugler's equally impressive book, The Cat/3500 Years of the Cat in Art.  

This'll be the third of several Alexandre-Francois Desportes paintings that will be featured here.


Image credit The Great Cat, Kittens at Play,  Alexandre-Francois Desportes, no other information available, held in a private collection.

Of the four kittens painted here by Desportes around 1700, the three in the front are complaining about something, or perhaps three distinct somethings.  But it's the kitty in the back--who also seems a tad needy, but not as much as its compadres--that draws my attention.

Desportes renders this adorable kitten in a manner worthy of a 2016 first-class adoption promotion.  If I were looking for a kitty, that one would be it.

Looking at the entire image, Desportes captures so well the nuances of cat bodies: the texture and pattern of the fur, the mouth, the eyes, the paws....He must have been a cat "owner."

[Gary note: With my Cats in Arts posts, I encourage you to scope out the art appreciation site Artsy (I have no financial interest in the site, I just like it), where you can explore many aspects of the world of art.  You'll certainly be entertained and enlightened!]