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 !

Friday, June 18, 2010

the merchant's wife...and cat

public domain
Everything here is round and bright: the fruit, the cake, the samovar probably full of piping hot tea, the woman enjoying this bounty - and the cat, whose face shows every expectation of sharing soon to be fulfilled. I can't help but think all this plenitude is a neat trick to pull off in revolutionary Russia. This is Boris Kustodiev's (Russian, 1878 - 1927) 1918 portrait of The Merchant's Wife, full of color and a gentle wry look at his subject. Meticulously rendered, the artist's pleasure in its creation still shines through.
This is all the more delightful when you realize this work was created two years after tuberculosis of the spine paralyzed his legs and confined him to a wheelchair, and years after the onset of the illness had left one arm in great pain. Even so, he loved and lived to work, and seems to have been a man of cheerful and affectionate spirit. This biography page has some facts and photos (scroll way down, though).


Katnip Lounge said...

What a lush painting! The colors are magnificent.

A few Good Cats said...

Some people are miserable in the middle of plenty, and others like this man are happy in spite of serious illness. OK, that's not a new observation or all that profound, but it makes a cat wonder about the people who are determined to be unhappy...