Sunday, January 24, 2016

Cats in Art: The Last Supper (Bassano)

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.

Today I feature a second painting by Leandro Bassano (also known as Leandro da Ponte, or Leandro da Ponte Bassano):

Image credit Wikimedia Commons, The Last Supper, Leandro Bassano, 1578, oil on canvas, size unspecified, held by Santa Maria Formosa, Venice, Italy.

The "held by" is not a gallery, but rather is a church, where the painting simply hangs.  And yes, there is indeed a cat in the picture.  To see it, however, we need a close-up of the very dark kitty crouching--of all places--down there at the lower left:

The painting above is soooo dark and gloomy that I hesitate to even show it....except that it provides a valuable art lesson.  Turns out that Leandro--as did many artists--painted more than one image of The Last Supper.  Perhaps the one above was originally a much brighter painting, but has deteriorated over time.

Regardless, check out Leandro's other crack at The Last Supper.  This one is much brighter and pleasing to the eye:

Image credit here, The Last Supper, Leandro Bassano, oil on canvas, date and size unspecified, held by Archivio Bridgeman Art Library, Berlin, Germany.

And here's the mandatory kitty close-up of the feline down in the lower left front:

Thank goodness for the Internet and all the wonderful art images that are to be found there. Without it I would have been stuck with a very poor Last Supper.

Also, it appears that the very same cat as last week was the subject for this painting as well.  Way to go, Leandro, immortalizing your pet forever!  I can well imagine Leandro saying to his dad Jacopo--also an artist and who also apparently painted this same cat--"Dad, can I borrow the cat for a couple of days?  I'm working on The Last Supper and I've got a blank spot down there at the lower left."  

Or, if my Italian translator is working OK, "Papà, posso prendere in prestito il gatto per un paio di giorni? Sto lavorando su l Ultima Cena e ho un punto vuoto laggiù in basso a sinister."

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!

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