Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cats in Art: The Man and the Woman (Bonnard)

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 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 the third of several posts on the cat art of Pierre Bonnard.




Image credit Gary of painting at the Orsay MuseumThe Man and the WomanPierre Bonnard, 1900, 46" x 29", oil on canvas, held by Orsay Museum, Paris, France.

And the close-up of the kitties from over there on the left:



The analysis on the Orsay web site:


What strikes us immediately about the painting is its audacious structure—the screen which separates the two figures divides the work into a kind of diptych. Bonnard was particularly interested in and influenced by Japanese ukiyo-eprints. Indeed his nickname amongst the Nabis was ‘Le Nabi très japonard’ (‘the very Japanese Nabi’). Ukiyo-e prints often employ a diptych or triptych format, echoing a two- or three-part narrative structure—in one part something is going on, while in another something else is going on. In Bonnard’s image, each side of the canvas is treated quite differently. In the left ‘panel’ Marthe is proportionally quite small. Emphasis is given to the subtle articulation of her skin tones, while there is a deliberate contrapuntal balancing of the massed base of the bed upon which the cats play, and the image of the painting above Marthe’s head. On the right we have the elongated form of Bonnard himself....

What I note from personal experience is that whenever the bride and I are in bed, we are an irresistible cat magnet.  Our cats come charging from wherever they may be in the house to rush the bedroom, launch themselves into the air onto the bed, and attempt to take over the space.  Evidently Bonnard was well acquainted with cats (judging from the number of paintings he placed cats in) and had to have been a cat "owner."

[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, December 3, 2017

Cats in Art: Le Chat Blanc (Bonnard)

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 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 the second of several posts on the cat art of Pierre Bonnard.




Image credit Gary (taken at Orsay Museum), The White Cat, Pierre Bonnard, 1884, oil on card, 20" x 13", held by Orsay Museum, Paris, France.


The Orsay Museum web site tells us:

Here, Bonnard uses distortion to create a humorous image of this cat arching its back. A strange animal, exaggeratedly arched on its paws, with its head drawn down into its shoulders, eyes like slits and a cunning expression. It seems both tame and wild. 
The painter spent a long time deciding on the shape and the position of the paws, as can be seen in the preparatory drawings. The x-ray of this work also reveals many changes, some of which are actually visible to the naked eye. "Art is not nature" he used to say, to the extent that his White Cat has become almost a caricature, "a comical and humorous image created through the genius of its master who observed and understood it so well" (Elisabeth Foucart-Walter).

I love this playful take by Bonnard of the cute white cat.  The bride and I once had a kitty whom we called Charlotte (for I contend that we can never really know a cat's name), who would get up on her toes and skitter around the room to engage us in chasing play.  Bonnard's white cat looks like it already is in mid-skitter.  And deciding whether you deserve a paw whacking.

[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 26, 2017

Cats in Art: Checked shirt (Portrait of Madame Claude Terrasse at twenty), Bonnard

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 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 the first of several posts on the cat art of Pierre Bonnard.


And the kitty close-up:



Image credit Gary of painting at the Orsay Museum, Checked shirt (Portrait of Madame Claude Terrasse at twenty),  Pierre Bonnard,  1892, 24" x 13", oil on canvas, held by Orsay Museum, Paris, France. 

Actually just saw this painting with my own eyes at the Orsay Museum in Paris.  Wow.  The best art book in the world cannot capture the texture and colors of an actual painting.

More art from Bonnard--a fav at the Orsay--to come in the ensuing weeks.

[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 19, 2017

Cats in Art: Lion Biting Some Guy's Ass at Versailles (sculptor TBD)

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 where we were privileged to see both the Louvre and Orsay Museums.  Of the two, the Orsay was waaaaay better--less crowded, could get closer to the paintings, more cats.  Much more on those kitties in the weeks to come.

But first, this post shows a rather unusual outdoor sculpture on the garden grounds of the Palace of Versailles.  The bride and I had walked out back to see the famous sculpture of Apollo where he comes roaring out of the water on his chariot (I'll include a photo of it at the bottom just as a bonus, regrettably sans chats)

Then we came upon this rather interesting outdoor work:



Now a tad closer....


And finally the kitty close-up:


Image credit Gary, on my iPhone.  The sculpture is at least full-sized, if not slightly larger.  This day was our only instance of rain on the trip, so I passed on photographing the statue's title plate to stay dry (the umbrellas were, of course, on the bus).  

Upon our return to the U.S. I did a quickie search to try to find the sculptor and title--and failed--so I'll keep trying so I can give proper credit, which is important to me.

At any rate, the message of the sculpture is quite clear: this guy was clearly out of line in some manner; one had better behave, for one never knows when a cat may even the scales justice by biting some deserving miscreant in the ass.  

No worries for the general population, for cats will strike solely in the case of misbehavior (for cats are nothing if not scrupulously fair).  Believe me.

Now the bonus huge Apollo sculpture.  No kitties, just pure, beautiful art:



[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 5, 2017

Cats in Art: Mimi and Her Cat (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 second of a series of posts on the art of Paul Gauguin.




Image credit Gauguin Gallery, Mimi and Her Cat, Paul Gauguin, 1890, gouache on cardboard, approx 7" square, held in a private collection.


No need for a kitty close-up here: despite the tiny original dimensions, this reproduced image is large and bold.  Unfortunately, I could uncover no other information about young Mimi or the cat.  Mimi may be one of the eight Gauguin children, perhaps short for the eldest son Emile...except that the title of the painting is 
Mimi and Her Cat.  Perhaps this is the child of a Gauguin family friend?

This feline is obviously a good kitty, given the fact that it is eating up the attention of a small child...which is rather exceptional cat behavior.

Also I note that this tiny painting is held in a private collection.  At the risk of sounding like Indiana Jones, wouldn't it be nice of it were in a museum where the whole world could enjoy 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!]





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!]





Sunday, October 22, 2017

Cats in Art: Boy With a Cat (Wood)

Note: I accidentally published this post several days early.  I am reposting it here on its originally intended run date of Sunday 22 Oct.  Hopefully next week I will not screw up the schedule!

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

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).




Image credit Pinterest,  Boy With a Cat, Christopher Wood, 1926, oil on canvas, 59" x 23", held by Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK.

And the kitty close-up:



Bugler's comments:

The Siamese cat makes an appearance in Western art only after the turn of the twentieth century, following the breed's introduction to Europe.  This elegant example is being stroked by the artist's friend Jean Bourgoint, who, with his sister Jeanne, was one of the models for the siblings in Jean Cocteau's novel Les Enfants Terrible (1929).

Seems that artist Wood was short lived, dying at age 29.  Too bad, his cat art may have been epic for the ages.

This poor kitty is obviously in distress: just look at the claws, as though there were an earthquake in progress and the lap upon which the cat was lying was rolling violently to and fro.  Or put another way, "I am so out of here.  Just have to wait for my opening."

This is an oddly proportioned image, some five feet tall by only a couple of feet wide. My default move in obtaining an image for a Cats in Art blog post is to first go to the holder of the painting.  Unfortunately, the image on the Kettle's Yard Museum website was not easily sized to fit Mister Tristan, (the blog, not the 9 year old human being), so I had to resort to the secondary source Pinterest.

[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!]







Cats in Art: Boy With a Cat (Wood)

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).




Image credit Pinterest,  Boy With a Cat, Christopher Wood, 1926, oil on canvas, 59" x 23", held by Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, UK.

And the kitty close-up:




Bugler's comments:


The Siamese cat makes an appearance in Western art only after the turn of the twentieth century, following the breed's introduction to Europe.  This elegant example is being stroked by the artist's friend Jean Bourgoint, who, with his sister Jeanne, was one of the models for the siblings in Jean Cocteau's novel Les Enfants Terrible (1929).

Seems that artist Wood was short lived, dying at age 29.  Too bad, his cat art may have been epic for the ages.

This poor kitty is obviously in distress: just look at the claws, as though there were an earthquake in progress and the lap upon which the cat was lying was rolling violently to and fro.  Or put another way, "I am so out of here.  Just have to wait for my opening."

This is an oddly proportioned image, some five feet tall by only a couple of feet wide. My default move in obtaining an image for a Cats in Art blog post is to first go to the holder of the painting.  Unfortunately, the image on the Kettle's Yard Museum website was not easily sized to fit Mister Tristan, (the blog, not the 9 year old human being), so I had to resort to the secondary source Pinterest.

[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!]