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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 07, 2012

redon's cat naps in the sun, 1905

via wikipaintings.org.  public domain
 Here is "Bazon: The Artist's Cat," the artist in question being the Symbolist Odilon Redon (French, 1840-1916).  That's quite a napping spot he's found for himself, surrounded by what appears to be a lush golden jungle.  But I suspect Redon was painting not so much the cat's actual spot as what he imagined was going on inside Bazon's head, mixed up with his own clearly affectionate feelings.  Redon was a Symbolist painter - some say the Symbolist painter - and Symbolism offers up glimpses of nameless feelings, portrayed with very personal imagery.
Here's Redon himself on his work:

"While I recognize the necessity for a basis of observed reality... true art lies in a reality that is felt."

"I have often, as an exercise and as a sustenance, painted before an object down to the smallest accidents of its visual appearance. But the day left me sad and with an unsatiated thirst. The next day I let the other source run, that of imagination through the recollection of the forms and I was then reassured and appeased."

By the way, if you can read French, you can read his journal with these and other quotes here.  Redon's work is often macabre round the edges, but also very often fresh-colored and sweet in a curious way.  See more here.

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