Sunday, October 29, 2017

Cats in Art: Study of Cats and a Head (Gauguin)

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 a series of posts on the art of Paul Gauguin.

Image credit The Athenaeum, Study of Cats and a Head, Paul Gauguin, ca 1890s, watercolor on paper, 8" x 11", held in a private collection.

 And now a pair of kitty close-ups.  The first seems to be a pose well known to any cat "owner," a cat throwing up.  Note the arched back, the head low to the ground, the fact that the impact zone looks to be carpet rather than a hard surface.

And a better image, this time of a good kitty, just laying there, evidently quite happy to be part of a family.

Bugler notes that cats were a frequent part of Gauguin's paintings:

His work is laden with mystical symbolism, but it is not certain that he intended his cats to hold any particular significance beyond conveying a sense of the reassuringly familiar.

I've featured 3 of Gauguin's works here previously: Eiaha Ohipa, Nativity, and Where Do We Come From?  I agree with Bugler that there seems not to be any hidden meanings in Gauguin's cats, just painting a reassuring object into an image.

[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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