Click to enlarge, then ESC to return. Image credit About.com Art History, The Two Beggars, Giacomo Ceruti, 1730-1734, oil on canvas, 52" x 67", held by Coteca Tosio Martineco, Brescia, Italy.
Cats are often the companions of the poor folks that inhabit the world painted by Il Pitocchetto, "the little beggar," as Ceruti was known [aside by Gary: I like this guy already, just based upon that fact!]. Sad and emaciated like their owners, they nevertheless share the poignant humanity that to canvas with few concessions to the pathetic or sentimental....These three living creatures, perceived from a low point of view, gaze at the viewer with a mixture of melancholy resignation and human dignity. And if they are capable of loving a kitten--ragged and disheveled as they are--they have a heart like everyone else.
Cats touch our hearts...just as they did for these two beggars and their painter nearly 300 years ago.
Also, since most of us see world class art only via the medium of print (such as a coffee table book like Zuffi's), I pay close attention to the listed size of the painting. Many images actually are tiny--perhaps only 12" on a side--and others are huge, measuring several feet on a side. Ceruti's The Two Beggars is large, nearly 4' x 7'. If I ever get to Italy and get to see this painting I would likely just stand there and stare at it in awe for a long, long, time.