Sunday, June 19, 2016

Cats in Art: Still Life with Fish and Cat (Peeters)

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 two posts featuring some art from Clara Peeters, a Belgian artist from the early 1600s.

Image credit National Museum of Women in the Arts, Still Life of Fish and Cat, Clara Peeters, after 1620, oil on panel, 13" x 18", held by National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.

As I pointed out last week, again we see a disconnect in title, although here it's the fairly small difference between "with" and "of."  While Bugler calls this image Still Life of Fish and Cat, all the Internet references I found call it Still Life With Fish and Cat.

Regardless, Caroline Bugler talks about Peeters' art:

A number show a live cat with fish and other seafood, and this is a typical example, with its assembly of relatively humbler objects and its restricted palette.  Peeters was skilled at rendering texture: here the carp/s slippery skin and the dull gleam of the ceramic colander make an interesting contrast with the cat's soft fur.  The vigilant feline, with its paws on a small fish, has a proprietorial air, its ears turned slightly to listen for an interloper who might whisk away its prize--could that be us, the viewer?

Compared to last week's post, this painting seems dark, gloomy and brooding...although that may simply be due to the accumulated centuries of grime and haze of hanging in one house versus a different house.  So perhaps Peeters' original painting was as bright as her similar painting that I featured last week.

As I said last week, this cat is rendered quite faithfully, watching protectively over some fishy bounty.  Clara Peeters--some 4 centuries ago--obviously knew her kitties.

[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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