Sunday, May 8, 2016

Cats in Art: A Barber's Shop With Monkeys and Cats (Teniers)

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 will be the first of two images from Abraham Teniers.

Image credit WikiGalleryA Barber's Shop With Monkeys and Cats, Abraham Teniers, 1647, oil on canvas, size unspecified, held by Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Austria.

This interesting painting from the middle 1600s is kinda reminiscent of today's paintings of dogs or cats sitting around playing cards and smoking cigars: a lighthearted attempt to get people to laugh.  I guess things were little different 400 years ago.

I count 6 cats and 8 monkeys in this image.  The viewer's eye is drawn first to the vain kitty front and center, who is peering with admiration at its own image in the mirror.

I personally like the dashing cat entering back at the left doorway, with its raking hat and red cloak.

And although my maxim is "Never trust a monkey," this crew of barbers and beauticians seems harmless enough.  At least Teniers has not painted any of the monkeys with any diabolical looks.  They truly seem there just to make the kitties look sharp.

Note that Abraham's brother David Teniers the Younger has been featured here at Mister Tristan three times.  You may want to click over and take a peek at The Alchemist, Cat Tended to by an Old Woman, and Twelfth Night.  

[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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