Saturday, August 24, 2013

Paintings of people and their cats

Some paintings I discovered via a phone book of women with their cats. Thought they were loverly. If I couldn't find information about the painting, I added some about the artist...
Sita and Sarita, 1893 by Cecilia Beaux
Cecilia Beaux portrait is of her cousin and her black cat. In Sita and Sarita (1893),  the placement of the woman’s hand has recently been likened to that of the courtesan in Manet’s Olympia. Whether one accepts this analysis or not, the sexy undercurrent of the picture is certainly there. Beaux  was anxious about the display of this picture but she needn’t have worried, because in her day the suggestion of sensuality (in the portrayal of a woman caressing a cat) was overlooked by commentators or, at least, it wasn’t mentioned. The portrait was rightly admired for its stylish verve.

Portrait of an Artist's Daughter by John McKirdy Duncan

John Duncan was born in Dundee, Scotland in 1866. His father was a cattleman. John, however, had no interest in the family business and preferred the visual arts. By the age of 11 he was a student at the Dundee School of Art, then based at the High School of Dundee.
Called a madman by some and a mystic by others, Duncan admitted to hearing "faerie music" whilst he painted. Although his work remains strongly rooted in the Pre-Raphaelite movement, there is a certain graphical quality which sets it apart from his contemporaries and likens it to Art Nouveau, while the subject matter is thoroughly Celtic Revival —he is generally referred to as a "symbolist" by art critics. His interest in Celtic Revival was also shared by the Scottish singer Marjory Kennedy-Fraser; they eventually became close friends and Duncan painted her while on a trip to Eriskay in 1905.
His dreamy, mystical nature led him to fall in love with a woman whom he believed to have discovered the Holy Grail in a well in Glastonbury and who later divorced him. He never remarried and died in 1945.

Woman and a Cat, 1875 by Pierre Auguste Renoir

French painter originally associated with the Impressionist movement. He was one of the central figures of the impressionist movement (a French art movement of the second half of the nineteenth century whose members sought in their works to represent the first impression of an object upon the viewer). His work is characterised by a richness of feeling and a warmth of response to the world and to the people in it.

His early works were typically Impressionist snapshots of real life, full of sparkling colour and light. By the mid-1880s, however, he had broken with the movement to apply a more disciplined, formal technique to portraits and figure paintings, particularly of women.
Renoir was so passionate about painting that he even continued when he was old and suffering from severe arthritis. Renoir then painted with the brush tied to his wrists.

Feeding Time by Fritz Zuber Buhler
Fritz Zuber-Buhler was a Swiss painter who was born in Le Locle, Switzerland in 1822. Fritz Zuber-Buhler moved to Paris, France when he was 16. This is where he studied under his first named Louis Grosclaude. After this he studied at the “École des Beaux-Arts” and then with François-Édouard Picot, who followed the artists such as Bouguereau, Léon Perrault, and Alexandre Cabanel. After some time, he was in Italy looking for inspiration. After five years abroad, he returned to Paris, where he made his debut at the Salon in 1850. He showed his works in several media including drawings, oil paintings, watercolours and pastels.

Young woman holding cat by Philippe Mercier
Phillippe Mercier was a French painter and etcher, who lived principally and was active in England. He was appointed principal painter and librarian to the Prince and Princess of Wales at their independent establishment in Leicester Fields, and while he was in favour he painted various portraits of the Royalties, and no doubt many of the nobility and gentry. 

The Wool Winder by J. B. Greuze

 On the eve of the French Revolution, Jean-Baptiste Greuze was hailed by his contemporaries as one of the most versatile and original painters of his generation. Modern audiences are still fascinated by Greuze's anecdotal genre scenes as reflections of the moral attitudes of the rising French bourgeoisie. In depicting middle class domestic genres, Greuze is often hailed as the inheritor of France's greatest genre and still life painter, Chardin. However, the strong moral and didactic nature of Greuze's genre scenes also reflects the 17th century Dutch genre tradition.
Like much of Greuze’s early work, The Wool Winder owes something to Chardin’s genre pictures of the 1730s, which in turn recall the Dutch seventeenth-century genre scenes the French were collecting avidly in the early eighteenth century. But Greuze’s pictures are usually, as here, more whimsical and anecdotal, as well as more refined in execution. The letter B carved into the top rail of the chair suggests that the subject may have been a younger sister of the artist’s wife, Anne-Gabrielle Babuti, whom he married in January of 1759. The Wool Winder, exhibited the same year, is related to a series of portraits of his new family that Greuze exhibited in 1759 and 1761 — likenesses of his wife, of her brother, and of her father, in addition to one of himself. 

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