|thanks wikimedia commons (PD:US)|
His genre pieces were particularly successful. Here's one, The Widow (exact date not known, but sometime from the 1860's to 1890's). I'm fascinated by this much-reproduced color lithograph, created to appeal and to sell. Yes, it's obviously the forerunner of all today's masses of cat imagery/memes, an instant cuteness grab, but it is so odd. Why an Elizabethan collar? Why The Widow? Is that title the only reason why I think this creature looks melancholy? What was this successful, clearly canny man thinking when he made this, and who was the real widow?