From my continuing weekly Sunday series of cats in art. Having moved on from Stefano Zuffi's marvelous work, The Cat in Art, I 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 fifth of several posts on the art of Marguerite Gerard.
Image credit Jean-Honoré Fragonard Villa-Museum, First Steps or The Nourishing Mother, Marguerite Gerard, 1803, oil on wood, dimensions unspecified.
And the (unfortunately not sharp) kitty close-up:
At least one can see that the cat, hiding under a jacket or blanket, is alert and involved in what is happening with its human family. And with a very long tail.
Look at the lighting. While the background is dark and nondescript, the two women are strongly bathed in ethereal light, as, of course, is the baby taking its first steps. And the cat, even though partially covered, is also the recipient of the warm light, according it equal status with the three people.
I find it fascinating that Gerard added this cat to this painting--makes it seem like this one was a particularly loved family pet.
[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!]