Sunday, October 8, 2017

Cats in Art: The Merchant's Wife at Tea (Kustodiev)

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 the first of 2 posts on the cat art of Boris Kustodiev.  Next week's is very similar...only different.

Image credit WikiArt, The Merchant's Wife at Tea, Boris Kustodiev, 1918, oil on canvas, 47" x 47", held by The Russian Museum, St. Petersburg.

And the kitty close-up, of course:

Bugler's comment:

The tortoiseshell and white cat rubbing up against its plump mistress adds the final touch of cosiness to this scene of comfortable domesticity, while its markings subliminally echo the vast expanse of the woman's creamy décolletage and shoulders framed by the dark dress.

I, for one, tend to be sensitive to body comments, so I kinda immediately bristle at Bugler's use of the term "plump mistress."  The best adjective I come up with upon viewing this painting is "luscious."  The fruit is luscious, the dress is luscious, the table setting is luscious, the background is luscious: richly luxurious or appealing to the senses.

The cat, alas, is not luscious.  She (being a calico, is female) simply looks happy to be a part of this activity.

[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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