Sunday, December 9, 2012

Cats in Art: Homage to Cezanne (Denis)

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

[Image credit National gallery of Australia, here.]
Homage to Cezanne, Maurice Denis, 1900, oil on cnavas, 70" x 94", held by Musee D'Orsay, Paris, France.
And for a close-up of the furtive kitty down there at the base of the pedestal:
Zuffi's analysis:
In this picture, a large group of painter friends, dressed in severe black, gather around a small but exquisite till life by the Provencal master [Cezanne] who was notable by his absence from the artistic scene in Paris....Here, in an austere, controlled work, the presence of a tabby cat that has furtively slipped into the picture just below the easel--its eyes flashing like a small, angry wild beast--opens a chink of affectionate imtimacy, a rush of freedom among all these serious, solemn-looking gentlemen.
To me, the angry kitty seems to be saying, "What's with all the black?  Lighten up, people!  And watch out for my tail!"
Also, check out the size of the original painting: it's about 6 feet by 8 feet.  That's huge, and would make the kitty just about life-sized.  I just gotta go to Paris to see the original....

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