Pussy Cats

Did you know that on 8 August each year Moggy Lovers the world over celebrate International Meow Day. In recognition of the place pussy cats have in our lives I give you this wonderful photo from the gallery of Chris of New York. In my opinion this is the best photo of a cat I have ever seen.

The Hero Image today is another of Chris' fabulous photos.

So what is the place of cats in the art world? Certainly many famous artists have had their own special feline companion and many have made images of these furry friends. Here is Paul Klee with his kitty called Bimbo

(Credit: artanddesigninspiration.com)

And here is one of his paintings titled Cat and Bird.
(Credit: artanddesigninspiration.com)

If you would like to see more of the cats and their artistic friends follow this link.

Like their furry adversary, the dog, cat images appear as statues, paintings, cartoons, photos. You might not agree with me but I feel people like to make fun of cats more than they do of dogs though the Internet is awash with thousands of images of cats and dogs in various humorous poses. But this is not a new phenomenon.
(credit: photohistory-sussex.co.uk)

Meet Harry Pointer (1822-1889), an English photographer who after a career taking conventional photographs of cats, decided to specialise in humorous or appealing images from about 1870. He would have loved the Internet! The small photographs he took were known as carte de visite (visiting card) and Pointer decided to record salutations on them such as A Happy New Year. Consequently purchasers started sending them as greeting cards which publicised Pointer’s work. The cards were also traded amongst friends and visitors and were immensicely popular in Victorian times. This is Harry Pointer with three of his cats.
(Credit: Sussex PhotoHistory)

Here is his assistant!
(Credit: Sussex PhotoHistory)

By 1884 Pointer had manufactured about two hundred different captioned images of cats which came to be known collectively as The Brighton Cats as this is where he settled after he married the portrait painter Rosa Myra Drummond. The caption for this image reads What’s Delaying My Dinner.

(Credit: Me.me)

But American photographer Harry Whittier Frees (1879–1953) took snapping kitties in unusual poses to the next level! I was going to show you some of his photos of animals but unfortunately I have just read an article on the somewhat startling animal photography of Frees and found out that not only did he use various nasty props to get the animals into the right poses but some of the animals might not have been breathing!! Sorry, can't show you any of these photos. I know times have changed and thank goodness animals now have more protection but...

If you would like to see the photos for yourself and read about this extremely controversial photographer here is a link.
https://www.lifewithcats.tv/2015/12/22/frees-victorian-cat-photographs-kind-of-creepy-but-not-cruel/

I had to find something more acceptable to finish off today so please meet Tombili who was very much alive ( I think) when his photo was taken lounging on his favourite seat in Istanbul.

(Credit: The Independent)

‘Tombili’, a rotund cat beloved by Istanbul’s Ziverbey neighbourhood, has been commemorated by the city authorities after local demand for a tribute to his memory. Tombili - a Turkish word often used for chubby pets - was known by residents of Ziverbey, part of the district of Kadıköy, for his nonchalant demeanour towards people who wanted to play with him. The cat became world famous earlier this year after a photo of him reclining in one of his favourite spots on the pavement was shared thousands of times on social media. (Ref:www.independent.co.uk)

I will pull myself together and tomorrow show you some wonderful paintings of pussy cats who, like Tombili, thoroughly enjoyed sitting for their portraits.

Anne Newman

Oil Painter in realistic genre style, predominantly buildings and people. To continue the discussion contact Anne on anewman@netspace.net.au or phone +61 407 516 522

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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