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!] 

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