Sunday, August 21, 2016

Cats in Art: Still Life With Cat (Desportes)

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.  

This'll be the second of several Alexandre-Francois Desportes paintings that will be featured here.



Image credit The Great Cat, Still Life With Cat,  Alexandre-Francois Desportes, no other information available, held by the Liverpool Walker Gallery.

This image comes from the same web site as last week, but unfortunately I have been unable to discern any more information about the date and size of the painting.  I just know that the kitty is being very opportunistic...in other words, just being a cat.

[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!]

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Cats in Art: Cat and Dead Game (Desportes)

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.  

This'll be the first of several Alexandre-Francois Desportes paintings that will be featured here.



Image credit The Great Cat, Cat and Dead Game,  Alexandre-Francois Desportes, ca 1700-1750, oil on canvas, dimensions unknown, held in a private collection.

Typically here I place a close-up of the the cat image, though in this case there is no need for a kitty close-up: the cat pretty much fills this painting.

This is an absolutely gorgeous painting.  The bride and I having once had a beautiful black and white kitty, I suppose I might be biased a bit towards such cats.  But gorgeous seems to be the only word that does this painting justice.  The cat is perfectly rendered, with outstanding detail of the fur, the face, the feet, the eyes, the whiskers.... I guess you get the idea that I kinda love this painting!  I would love to see it in person to be able to scope out the actual brushstrokes.

However, the sad part of this painting is that it is held in a private collection.  Without sounding too much like Indiana Jones, it belongs in a museum for all the world to see.

Note that back in 2010 I did another Desportes painting, much better known, called Cats Attacking Dead Game.  Here's the link for you to click over and enjoy!

[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!]


Sunday, August 7, 2016

Cats in Art: The Cat's Medicine

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.  


Image credit San Diego Museum of ArtThe Cat's Medicine,  Jan Steen, ca 1663, oil on panel, 22" x 18", held by San Diego Museum of Art.

And the kitty close-up:




Bugler comments:
It is difficult to tell whether the cat is delighted, or is struggling to free itself from the clasp of the girl, who is simply imitating the practices of her elders.  Either way, being fed a spoonful of soup must surely be a better bet for a cat than being given a reading lesson.

The reference, of course, is to another Jan Steen painting, which I blogged about here, back in 2011.  You really must click on over!

Back to this one: the cat seems to be reaching for the spoon, which makes me think that whatever is in the spoon must be pretty good.  Once again, a group of happy Dutch kids.  Seems like the 1600s in the Netherlands was the Golden Age of child happiness!


[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!]


Sunday, July 31, 2016

Cats in Art: Amorous Couple In an Inn (Molenaer)

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.  

This is my fifth and probably last of a series of posts featuring some art from Jan Miense Moleaer, a Dutch artist from the middle 1600s.



Image credit The AetheneumAmorous Couple In an Inn,  Jan Miense Molenaer, 1645, oil on panel, 20" x 15", held in a private collection.

Interesting use of light in the otherwise dim tavern scene to feature the amorous couple...who are interested in each other and don't even know there's a cat at their feet.  Did you even see the odd-looking cat over on the bottom right, right under the woman's wine jug?




Big eyes--startled appearance--but not quite willing to give up whatever has its interest within that bucket.



[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!]



Sunday, July 24, 2016

Cats in Art: A Group of People Teasing a Dog With a Cat (Molenaer)

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.  

This is the fourth of a series of posts featuring some art from Jan Miense Moleaer, a Dutch artist from the middle 1600s.



Image credit The AetheneumA Group of People Teasing a Dog With a Cat, Jan Miense Molenaer, 1627, oil on panel, 10" x 17", held by Florence Court - National Trust  (United Kingdom - Enniskillen)

And the mandatory close up of the unfortunate kitty in the 
center:


The paintings of Molenaer are typically bright and vibrant.  I include this one simply because it's the opposite: dark and dingy.  The viewer can barely even make out the cat in the middle.  But I truly doubt that's how it appeared when it was new--more than likely, we are trying to view this painting through the accumulated grime and smoke of 400 years.

The other thing that touches me about this painting is related to today's political climate, where otherwise good people are losing their brains into a sort of mob mentality, where bullying and making fun of the unchampioned is now suddenly okay.

As my good friend DS once observed, "Mobs blow."

[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!]

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cats in Art: The Denying of Peter (Molenaer)

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.  

This is the third of a series of posts featuring some art from Jan Miense Moleaer, a Dutch artist from the middle 1600s.



Image credit The AetheneumThe Denying of Peter, Jan Miense Molenaer, 1636, oil on canvas, 39" x 53", held by Szépmüvészeti Múzeum, Budapest,  Hungary.


And the mandatory close up of the basking kitty down there at the bottom left near the fire:





That poor kitty would just love to be basking over near the fire...but look at her expression: wary watchfulness  Not relaxation.

Any the title, to me, is confusing.  Everyone is looking at the bald, white-bearded guy in the upper right, who must be Peter, the disciple of Jesus, who denied Jesus.  Yet the remainder of the figures seem thoroughly Dutch rather than Roman.  Go figure.

[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!]

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Cats in Art: Children Playing and Merrymaking (Molenaer)

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.  

This is the second of a series of posts featuring some art from Jan Miense Moleaer, a Dutch artist from the middle 1600s.




Image credit The Aetheneum, Children Playing and Merrymaking, Jan Miense Molenaer.  
And the mandatory close up of the very upset kitty on the top of the barrel:



Just a couple of comments.  First, the artist was only 22 when he painted this image.  Let that sink in a moment.  Twenty-two years old.

I can barely take a photo at my age, much less paint a priceless work of art!

Second, like the happy image of Dutch children from 2 weeks ago, again we have happy kids...and a very unhappy cat.  See, despite their natural grace and effortless movement, cats have no sense of rhythm.  They just don't dance, so this poor feline is waaaaay out of his/her element.

[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!]


Sunday, July 3, 2016

Cats in Art: Who's the Fairest of Them All? (Paton)

While life intervenes, I will repost a classic Cats in Art piece from 4 years ago.  Enjoy:

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Cats in Art: Fairest of Them All (Paton) (2012)

From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. I am using some ideas from the coffee table book, The Cat in Art, by Stefano Zuffi.

I've discovered several other cat paintings by Paton, so the month of Sundays in July will be devoted entirely to him.

Image credit artnet galleries, here [click to enlarge].  Who's the Fairest of Them All?, Frank Paton, 1883, oil on canvas, 24" x 20", private collection. And, as it so happens, the original is actually for sale as you read this, here.

Zuffi's analysis:
This charming painting by Paton bears witness to the proliferation of images of cats--some clumsy and verging on caricature--during the second half of the 19th century. 
Not that I want to rain on this painting's parade--because I happen to love it--but I must quibble with the physics, or more properly, with the optics depicted here.  It's a simple convention often used in films and TV, and here in this painting: the subject is shown looking at a mirror such that we see the reflected image.

But think about it: what the subject would actually be seeing is not their reflection but rather the reflection of the detached observer.  In this kitty's case, it would be Frank Paton as he paints.  In film or TV, it would be the camera.  In other words, if the camera "sees" the subject, then the subject sees the camera.  It's a two-way street, simple optics.  Angle of incidence equals angle of reflection and all that stuff.