About Me

My photo
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, June 20, 2017

harem cat

John Frederick Lewis [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0) or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

John Frederick Lewis (English, 1804-76) is considered one of the finest of the Orientalist painters.  Not only did he bring scrupulous detail and realism to his depictions of Middle Eastern life, he did so with respect for the culture and people.  He lived in Cairo for ten years, returning to England in 1851 to make a career out of his remembered imagery.  Here's his 1857 watercolor "Hhareem Life, Constantinople" (that's not a typo, that's one of the ways the word was spelled back then).  This scene is pleasant in its domesticity, not least in its portrayal of the feather-slaying puss, cat-hanced below:


How different was Lewis in his approach to this subject?  If you're curious, you can find a comparative discussion in this Guardian article, written as review for Tate Britain's 2008 "Lure of the East" exhibition.

No comments: