Sunday, October 1, 2017

Cats in Art: Hydrangeas (Steer)

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 The Athenaeum, Hydrangeas, Philip Wilson Steer, 1901, oil on canvas, 33" x 44", held by The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK.

And the kitty close-up:

Bugler's analysis of this painting:

In a light-filled, chintzy interior an elegantly clad woman plays with her cat, teasing it with a string of pearls.  It would be hard to imagine a more English scene, although Steer was responding to the very un-English lessons of French Impressionism....Decorum reigns supreme in this delightfully traditional picture, which conveys an untroubled vision of an Edwardian world in which there is no hint of discord.

My thoughts?  Mr. Steer rendered the cat very well--I assume he must have been a cat "owner."  He nailed that quality of a cat being totally powerless to resist dangling objects.  The woman seems happy; I totally agree with Bugler that this is a tranquil, non-troubling that we certainly need to immerse ourselves in these days, what with all the political discord roiling around us.

Sometimes it all seems just too much, and relaxing with this particular 100+ year old painting--and with cats in art in general--has vast therapeutic powers.  Never underestimate the power of a 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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