cat art the Metropolitan Museum of Art

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cat art at The Metropolitan Museum

Last week, my friend Jenny and I went to The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in New York City,  Although we didn’t seek out cats in art, we happily found two excellent examples. The first one is a sculpture by Giacometti. I really like most of his work, but hadn’t seen this particular cat sculpture in bronze. Turns out the only other animal sculptures he did was one of a dog, two of horses.

Giacometti (1901-1966) cat bronze, 1954

Giacometti bronze cat

Giacometti cat
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

 

Giacometti remembered that his brother Diego’s cat “passed just like a ray of light,” squeezing it’s lithe and predatory form close to objects without ever touching them.

from The Metropolitan Museum

The other wonderful surprise was because Jenny wanted to track down an artist she likes: Balthus. Luckily for us, when asking for directions from a Met guard, he steered us to the painting Jenny wanted to see, then generously directed us to Balthus paintings scattered in other collections, around the museum. That’s how we came upon Thérèsa Dreaming, a 1938 painting by Balthus.

Balthus Thérèsa Dreaming

Thérèsa Dreaming
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

Being that Jenny is a cat person too, we were both delighted by the cat in the painting.

cat in Balthus painting Thérèsa Dreaming

the cat in Thérèsa Dreaming
photo by shari smith dunaif © 2017

 

Thérèsa Blanchard, who was about twelve or thirteen at the   time this picture was made, and her brother Hubert were neighbors of Balthus in Paris. She appears alone, with her cat, or with her brother in a series of  eleven painting between 1936 and 1939.

From The Metropolitan Museum

Jenny and I had a fabulous day. Can’t wait to return to The Met to discover more cats in art.

 

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