About Me

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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 !

Thursday, October 22, 2009

orange cat, left shoulder: lilla cabot perry

thanks a mill Wikimedia Commons

Oh, I remember well how this feels - a chunky little orange beauty draped over the left shoulder (never the right; never figured out what was up with that). This is Lilla Cabot Perry's (1848-1933) Woman with Cat (date not found so far), oil on canvas.

Perry was an Impressionist painter with a good twist to her story: daughter of the prominent Boston Cabot family, she was 36 before she got formal art training, and became a close friend of Monet's. (**NOTE: I'd originally typed that as Manet. My sincere thanks to the reader who wrote me to correct that.) She traveled widely with her husband and family, learned a great deal about the newest and most dynamic art movements of her time, and turned all this knowledge into intimate personal glimpses of people and situations she loved best.

Look again at the painting above: if the young woman were turned round, it is she you'd reckon with, and the kitty would be only an accessory. Instead the green-eyed, alert face of the cat is featured, along with the cuddling arm that nestles it close. And look at that fine fur next to the glossy brunette hair. This is an understated portrait of tenderness.

The Wikipedia article on Perry is a very good one, so here you go.


parlance said...

A beautiful post. Thanks for showing us the painting.

curator said...

Thank you, Parlance!