Sunday, July 27, 2014

Cats in Art: A Book of Cats (Foujita)...and Ultrarunning

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.  This is the fourth in a series of posts of the cat art of Leonard Foujita.





Image credit WikiArt, here.  

LĂ©onard Tsuguharu Foujita, A Book of Cats, 1929, media and size unspecified, held in a private collection.

What a nifty little piece, and with such an enigmatic title.  First off, the kitty's pose is perfectly captured: utterly relaxed, dead to the world, and with that one outstretched paw....Foujita certainly knew his cats.  Moreover, he knew how to capture their essence.

But the title--A Book of Cats--I still don't get.  Was the kitty asleep on an open book (seems not)?  Did the image represent a compilation, book if you will, of various cats, all painted into a single kitty (perhaps)?

Or is this just one of those art mysteries that Foujita took with him to his grave?  I can answer that: "Yes."  

I don't often mix my Cats in Art posts with Ultrarunning, but today I'll make an exception.  I was running my beloved Pig Farm 10 mile route this morning and I came across a dead juvenile kitty on the road near a farm.  It was quite dead, but newly so, as it was still warm and pliable.  I knew that if it remained on the road it'd be destroyed by cars, so I lovingly picked the cat up and carefully laid it at the base of a tree in the yard of the farmhouse.  

I've often seen kids at this farm, and I hope that the kitty was not a special pet.


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