|www.metmuseum.org Gift of Roberto Berdecio, 1960 (PD)|
For Cinco de Mayo I'm bringing you this sprightly wood-engraved scene by Jose Guadalupe Posada. Here in Mujer bailando con gato (Woman Dancing with a Cat, c. 1900) a dancer steps out in her fine fringed shawl, surrounded by her similarly decked friends. But why's the cat in a tailcoat? After doing a little reading on Posada (like here), I think this is his way of lampooning a personage, a fat cat. You have to admit that cat isn't skinny, and the fancy coat has long been shorthand for identifying bankers, politicos and other possibly-corruptible callings. Is this poking fun at an official playing at being "man of the people"?