Sunday, January 1, 2012

Cats in Art: The Washerwoman (Chardin)

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


Image credit Fineart-China (click to enlarge).  The Washerwoman, Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, 1733, oil on canvas, 14" x  17", held by Hermitage, St. Petersburg, Russia.

Second week in a row for Chardin.  Zuffi knows his cats, and explains:

This docile three-colored cat belonged to the artist since 1728 (the year that The Ray was first exhibited).  Crouched in an almost perfect oval shape, it too is part of that poetic, inner world that Chardin portrays in his genre scenes and still lifes....

I love me some calico (our present count is 2 of 5), and since he did too,  Chardin muts have been a pretty smart guy.  Even though he and his kitty have been gone for nearly 300 years, this painting brings them both back to life again.

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