Sunday, February 19, 2017

Cats in Art: Two Girls Decorating a Kitten (Wright)

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).

Image credit Wikipedia, Two Girls Dressing a Kitten by Candlelight, Joseph Wright of Derby, oil on canvas, 35" x 28", held by Kenwood House, London, England.

Note that this painting is alternatively called Two Girls Decorating a Kitten.  So here's the kitty close-up, and a woeful shot indeed it is:

Bugler comments:

The pictorial association of young girls with cats become commonplace in the 18th century.  Here, these two girls dress up a pet kitten in dolls' clothes, but the cat looks far from pleased with this new game....Extra drama is added to the narrative by the fact that is taking place by candlelight.

To which I add, "Oh, the indignity!"  But as I often say, that's the price our pets have to pay for domesticity.

Turns out I did this painting back in 2012 (link here).  Zuffi also loved this painting, as do I.

[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!]

1 comment:

  1. What a deceptive game the artist is playing on the viewer. Using a Caravaggesque technique of dark & light, in itself a signal of high drama, the artist pretends the girls are childishly dressing a cat like a doll. However, look closely at the position of the cat's tail. Somethings else is being signaled in this seemingly innocent game. They are signaling their emergence from childhood to maturity.