Sunday, May 29, 2016

Cats in Art: Catfight in a Pantry (de Vos)

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 three posts featuring some art from Paul de Vos.

Image credit Museo del Prado, Catfight in a Pantry (alternatively called Cats Fighting in a Larder), Paul de Vos, ca 1630, oil on canvas, 46" x 70", held by Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid, Spain.

Per the Prado web site:

With the owners or house servants away, the animals sneak into the larder, giving free rein to their instincts. This leads to a fight. Scenes of animal fights in domestic settings were customary in mid-seventeenth-century Flemish painting. They were also frequent in the literature of proverbs, where they were interpreted as moral allusions to the abandonment of responsibilities and their consequences. Paul de Vos followed in the footsteps of his brother-in-law, Frans Snyders (1579-1657), making identical still lifes with animals and even repeating the compositional schemes and models, but with a more delicate touché and warmer shading. This type of scene was very successful among collectors of that time and was repeated on innumerable occasions. 

Four cats already in the fray, with three more ready to hop in.  About all I can say is that these are very bad cats.  Certainly NOT at all like my kitties!

As in my last week's de Vos post (and as I have previously observed with numerous other artists), de Vos is really good at capturing the essence of catness.  

[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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