The bride and I had 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.
Image credit WikiMedia Commons, Earthly Paradise, Paul de Vos (and studio), 1600s, oil on canvas, 7' 2" x 10' 10", a replica of the original held by the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna, Italy, held by the Louvre Museum, Paris, France.
And the kitty close-up:
The analysis in the Vitoux and Foucart-Walter book Cats in the Louvre, as the paired critters are about ready to embark upon the Ark:
It was normal for painters to fill their depictions of Paradise with beasts of all kinds, so as to recall that, in accordance with biblical texts (Genesis), Adam was called upon by the Eternal to name every member of the animal kingdom.
Very oddly, our [singular] cat has not adopted the placid attitude one might expect from him: with ears flattened and eyes bulging, he seems in a rage and ready to leap at some invisible adversary. Perhaps he can sense that the end of this Garden of Eden is nigh.
The painting is huuuuuge, as was de Vos' habit, measuring some 7 feet tall and nearly 11 feet wide. Can you imagine standing right there and seeing it in person? (unfortunately we completely missed it as we hustled of necessity thru the Louvre).
This is obviously a very bad cat. Perhaps he was annoyed at the presumptuousness of Adam to name him. Obviously, as I always say, we can never know the real name of any animal; we only know what we call them.
Of course, my fav has to be Catfight in a Pantry, where we see an airborne kitty. You know you want to click over to see it!
[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!]