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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

a mannerist cat

public domain
Here's a dainty, but odd portrait from the Renaissance. Both woman and cat look perfectly happy, but neither looks convincingly comfortable. Why isn't that cat down on her lap? She couldn't hold it in midair forever. It's as if the painter were arranging them more for studied effect than for anything else. Then there's the dry palette and the woman's waxy complexion, which could certainly be a result of overcleaning or a faithful reproduction of her indifferent health, but is more likely a result of the painter's choices and manner.
As it happens, this portrait is an example of the Florentine Mannerist style, a late development of Reniassance art, marked by colors, elongations and poses not natural to the human form or eye of the beholder. This "Woman with a Cat," from the 1540s, was painted by Francesco Bachiacca (1494 - 1557). You may see it at Berlin's Staatliche Museen.
By the way, check out the ear tips on that cat. Those are impressive on a domestic cat.

3 comments:

Four Dinners said...

Maximus Spittimus has requested that I advise you that whilst it is a nice picture, if anyone tried to hold him like that he would rip them to bits.

(He would to)

Four Dinners
Aide de Camp
http://maximusspittimus.blogspot.com

curator said...

I just bet he would, too.
Give him my best ;-)

Cliff and Olivia said...

But it's a tiny little thing. The humans should try to hold us like that for a few minutes and they'd be exhausted.