Sunday, January 29, 2017

Cats in Art: Still Life With Cat and Parrot (Lazzari)

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.  You really should check out and/or own both of these wonderful works, easily available on Amazon or eBay (and I have no financial interest).

This is my third of several posts on the cat art of Sebastiano Lazzari. 

Image credit Wikimedia, Still Life With Cat and Parrot, Sebastiano Lazzari, early 1700s, oil on canvas, 19" x 28", held in a private collection.

Note that if you are so disposed to try to look up more information about this painting, you may have better luck searching on the German title, Stillleben mit Katze ind Papagei.  

Couple of things that I find intriguing about this painting.  It is dark!  At first glance, it seems as though we have another instance of a painting that has darkened over the 3 centuries since it was painted.  Yet...look at the brightness of the back wall where a scientific poster is attached to a lighter wall, and even looks as though a light is being shined upon it.

Evidently Lazzari wanted to highlight the back wall, at the expense of the critters up front.  I just don't get it.

Second, I will say that Lazzari gets the cat right, unlike the paintings of his that I've featured here in the past two weeks.  The cat's eyes look lustrous, the splash of white fur on the whisker area looks real, the plum-colored nose just kills, and the overall posture, well, actually looks like a real kitty.

Another thing that I find fascinating is that while there is a by-God real parrot (or papagei if you are of Germanic persuasion) only inches away, the cat here is focused on something else in the right distance.  Must be pretty darn interesting if the cat literally passes on "a bird in the hand" (or paw!), evidently thinking that the "two in the bush" must be worth more.

Perhaps the cat and the parrot are buddies and there is no predator-prey thinking going on here.

[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!]

No comments:

Post a Comment