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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 !

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

a cat is a safe friend for an imperial toddler

public domain,thanks wikimedia commons
Ivan IV of Russia (1740-1764) had a short, sad life. Declared Emperor at ten weeks, deposed 13 months later, sent to an isolated imprisonment with a jailer when not even four years old due to a power grab by the Empress Elizabeth, he was finally murdered on the brink of freedom. (See all that here.)
I hate stories like this.  But you can see that for that one brief period in his infancy he had one portrait painted  showing him as blessed and wise beyond his years, indicative of the worshipful love the Russian people had for their Tsars.  I think I am right in saying Ivan's right hand is making a gesture of blessing.  No year-old child would normally do that - but they would and do grab pet cats by the ear. What an interesting mix this is of the iconic and the natural.  I hope he at least got to keep that cat a while.

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