Sunday, February 5, 2017

Cats in Art: The Dead Mouse (Boilly)

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).

Following several weeks of the cat art of Sebastiano Lazzari, we're moving on to at least a couple weeks with Louis-Leopold Boilly from the period of the French Revolution.

Image credit The Wallace Collection, The Dead Mouse, Louis-Leopold Boilly, ca 1790, oil on canvas, 16" x 12", held by The Wallace Collection, London.

And the kitty close-up:

Bugler's analysis:

Here, a young boy clings to his mother, recoiling in horror at the sight of the dead mouse teasingly dangled through the window.  The cat looks up eagerly at the offering, its predatory pose making an amusing contrast with that of the docile fluffy pet in Boilly's portrait of the young Gabrielle Arnault [that painting will becoming next week--Gary]

I've never been squeamish about mice or small critters so I have trouble sympathizing with people who freak out over such things.  But it's the cat who apparently thinks that  things are going to get just a tad more interesting around here.  I like how it is standing its ground despite the child's noise right behind him/her.  Good kitty!

Also, note that this painting is rather small--scarcely larger than a sheet of legal paper.  Yet Boilly manages to pack all that marvelous detail into such a compact space.

[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