Sunday, March 11, 2018

Cats in Art: Visit to Grandmother (Le Nain)

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).

The bride and I just returned from a wonderful vacation in France this fall where we were privileged to see both the Louvre and Orsay Museums.  Of the two, the Orsay was much better--less crowded, could get closer to the paintings, more cats.

This is post 4 of 4 on the art of the Le Nain brothers, Louis, Antoine and Mathieu.

Image credit Wikimedia Commons, Visit to Grandmother, ca 1645, Louis, Antoine and Mathieu Le Nain, oil on canvas, 22" x 30", held by The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

And under the chair to the left, a dark, pensive kitty, lurking mysterious and unknown....the essence of catness.

This image runs counter to most of the Le Main paintings I have looked at: this one quite dark, literally.  I suspect that the darkness stems from years of hanging in smoky conditions rather than a deliberate attempt to be shrouded in shade.  

One final comments on the Le Nain Brothers, who art historians believed collaborated on many paintings.  I wonder if, say, Louis, told his brothers, "I'm the face and hands guy.  I do all the faces and hands, nobody else!"  And perhaps Antoine may have said, "I'll handle all of the bodies and the backgrounds.  I'm better at the human form, but somebody has to do the setting, so I guess that's me." And that leaves Mathieu, who may have said, "I'll handle the kitties.  I got this."

Bless Mathieu's heart.

[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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