Sunday, February 12, 2017

Cats in Art: Gabrielle Arnault as a Child (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 the second week with Louis-Leopold Boilly from the period of the French Revolution.

Image credit Web Gallery of ArtGabrielle Arnault as a Child, Louis-Leopold Boilly, ca 1815, oil on canvas, 18" x 16", held by The Louvre, Paris, France.

And of course we need a kitty close-up:

At first I was going to refer to this cat as a scaredy-cat, but look at the expression again.  It is more of mild annoyance ("Isn't this over yet?") rather than fear.  Boilly does an exceptional job at working the nuances of feline facial expression and body language.  To say nothing of how well and realistically the cat's fur is painted, which is not an easy feat for an artist.  All in all, quite an exceptional job!

And even though she is not a cat, I cannot help but be dazzled by the rendering of Gabrielle: she seems to be a calm, placid child.  And those huge, expressive eyes!

As another aside, the bride and I will have the great fortune to visit Paris later in 2017, and of course we will spend as much time as practicable in the Louvre.  We certainly will pay a visit to the forever-young Gabrielle Arnault and her kitty.

[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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