Sunday, November 27, 2016

Cats in Art: Church Fresco of Seeing Eye Dog

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.   

After several posts on the art of Chardin, I am diverting into some art that the bride and I just saw in Italy on a wonderful visit in October to the Amalfi Coast.


Here we have a series of three shots of the same painting, each one taken successively closer.  These are from the Duomo di Salerno (Salerno Cathedral) and date from the 1600s.


That's a dog, you say?  You'd be right.  For the first time ever here at my regular Sunday Cats in Art post, I will feature a dog.  Why?  Because it was beautiful art.


We visited a church in the lovely town of Salerno that supposedly contains some bones of St. Matthew, one of Jesus' twelve disciples.  You head down under the sanctuary to a crypt...but what a crypt it is!  Rather than being small and dank, this is a huge open room  with arches in the low ceiling, each of which has been painted with a Biblical scene involving St. Matthew.

Which Christmas approaching I figured it might be appropriate to use an image of Jesus healing a blind man:




And finally, the puppy close up:



What makes these frescoes great is that they are only some 20' above you, thus rendering them--to me and the bride--much more impactful than the famous paintings waaaaay up on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican in Rome.  Each circular painting here in Salerno is perhaps 8-10" across.   I didn't count but there are a couple of dozen at least.

Tucked away here.  Utterly stunning.

[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, November 20, 2016

Cats in Art: A Lion Gutter Spout

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.   

After several posts on the art of Chardin, I am diverting into some art that the bride and I just saw in Italy on a wonderful visit to the Amalfi Coast.


Below are a couple of shots from a Roman villa near the Greek ruins of Paestum, Italy.




 Image credits Gary

So those crazy Romans thought it was worthwhile and important to create art in the form of lion's head gargoyles, if you will, while building their rain gutters.  A simple hole or spout just would not have sufficed.  My hat is off to those guys from 2,000 years ago.

For scale, this section of gutter is perhaps a foot and a half in length, making the lion's head about 5" or so wide.

[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!] 

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Week Late: Armistice Day

[Gary Note: Blogging, of late, has been taking a back seat to life...which is as it should be]

Armistice Day...Every Family has a Story

I am reposting the same post I have put up for the past 6 years on 11 Nov, commemorating the end of World War I.

============================

For Veteran's Armistice Day (as it was originally called)....

Every family has a story. My mother told me of my great-grandfather, Julius (or Jules?) Brinkmann, who was killed on this date in 1918 in World War I on the Western Front.

Word of the armistice, which took effect the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918, did not reach all the lines in real time. He was killed sometime later that day, AFTER the armistice.

He would have been one of the very last casualties of the Great War. You know, the war that was supposed to end all wars.

Oh, and he was a German. Funny, that really doesn't seem to matter, does it?

What is your family story? Please comment.

This is a generic photo, not of Julius--because my Mom's family lost ALL their possessions, including family photos, when they were bombed out in Frankfurt in WW II--but it could have been.





Photo credit here.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Cats in Art: Fountain of Neptune (Naples, Italy)

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.   

After several posts on the art of Chardin, I am diverting into some art that the bride and I just saw in Italy on a wonderful visit to the Amalfi Coast.


Below are a couple of shots from the city of Naples, of the Fountain of Neptune (link is here).  The fountain was built around 1600 and has been spewing water ever since.  The lions are approximately life-size.







 Image credits Gary

[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!] 

Monday, October 31, 2016

My Very Own Halloween Cat

Pictured below is Ca Beere, our petite all black cat.  Black fur, black nose, black whiskers, and when she closes her yellow eyes she's pretty much an indistinguishable shadow.  Ca Beere is about the sweetest dispositioned cat we have ever had, always clamoring to be picked up or to sit on your lap.

Speaking of which, this morning she is shown on my lap, gathering her strength, for indeed, today is her day to shine.  She will be quite busy the rest of the day, I'm sure, performing her ceremonial Halloween functions.




Sunday, October 30, 2016

Cats in Art: Greek Vase (unknown Greek artist)

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.   

After seveal several posts on the art of Chardin, I am diverting into some art that the bride and I just saw in Italy on a wonderful visit to the Amalfi Coast.



This urn (perhaps 2' or so tall) comes from the ancient Greek site at Paestum near Sorrento.  The Greeks were there some 2500 years ago, predating the Roman period.

The urn above just knocked my socks off, with the lion added as a purely aesthetic and decorative touch.  I keep thinking about the maker of this urn, who out of whimsey or art or frivolity decided that this urn needed a cat on it, lest it somehow be incomplete.

And then the kitty close-up:


This lion is perhaps 8" tall, and seems not so much interested in the urn's contents as it it in guarding said contents.   Perhaps from the snakes or horses found elsewhere on the urn?

[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, October 23, 2016

Cats in Art: Still Life With Cat and Fish (Chardin)

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 several posts on the art of Chardin.







Image credit  Museo Thyssen-BornemiszaStill Life With Cat and Fish, Jean Baptiste Simeon Chardin, 1728, oil on canvas, 25" x 31", held by Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid, Spain.

Very, very cool calico kitty over there on the left, totally intrigued by the plethora of fish.  As previous "owners" of a couple of calicos, the bride and I have a special place in our hearts for these tri-colored felines, whose genetic code for coloration renders all calico kitties necessarily female.

This girl is ALL business, ready to move on the free food displayed, right over there!  Again, Chardin gets it right with the facial expression of the cat, her eyes, her fur, her posture.  Obviously a cat "owner," from nearly 300 years ago and a continent away....


[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, October 9, 2016

Cats in Art: The Laundress (Chardin)

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 several posts on the art of Chardin.





Image credit Arthermitage website, The Laundress, Jean-Simeon Chardin, 1730, oil on canvas, 15" x 17", held by The Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.




And the kitty close-up:




From the Arthermitage website:


Painted in the 1730s, The Laundress is a masterpiece by Jean-Simeon Chardin, who took much pleasure in depicting scenes from the life of the ordinary people who inhabited the poor craftsmen's areas of Paris. In the room where a young woman works hard scrubbing clothes in the tub, everything seems to be suffused with a sense of quiet and calm, an impression created thanks to the combination of many elements in the painting: the simple, strict composition, the symmetrically arranged objects, the alternation of areas of light and colour. One of the most marvellous things in the painting is the female figure seen through the door, the space around her filled with steam. Although we cannot identify the source of the light, we can guess from which direction it falls. The painting has a very restrained colour scheme, the artist selecting each colour very deliberately and using it with great care to give a fuller sense of each object's reality and solidity.



Art aside, the composition of the scene intrigues me--especially I like the way Chardin has captured way cats like to be with people, but at the same time not exactly be with people...i.e., nearby and ready to interact.  Provided it's advantageous to the kitty.

[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!]