I'm not big on so-called "art" unless it's pictures of cats. Especially if they are pictures of me!! While I want to talk about some pictures of me and contrast artistic Realism as an aesthetic vs the Classical or Romantic aesthetics, I want to convince you that there are many famous pictures of cats. How I will accomplish that task is to simply show you a small sample of the large bunch of famous painters painting cats. It's kind of odd that all three of the painters that come to mind were French. But many French persons wear t-shirts that say J'aime Les Chats. That's French talk that says "I'm crazy about my cat!" There's also many non-French-person books about art and cats.
|Mona Lisa with her cat painted by Leonardo da Vinci|
|Girl sleeping with a Cat by Pierre-Auguste Renoir|
|Woman with a Cat by Edouard Manet|
So anyway the first appearances of the term realism was in the Mercure français du XIXe siècle in 1826, in which the word is used to describe a doctrine based not upon imitating past artistic achievements but upon the truthful and accurate depiction of the models that nature and contemporary life offer the artist. I wasn't around in 1826, so I can't vouch for that, but it seems truthy enough. The French proponents of realism were agreed in their rejection of the artificiality of both the Classicism and Romanticism of the academies and on the necessity for contemporaneity in an effective work of art. They attempted to portray the lives, appearances, problems, customs, and mores of the middle and lower classes, of the unexceptional, the ordinary, the humble, and the unadorned.
I present the following two photos of me for discussion. Here I am looking all humble and unexceptional. Way to unexceptional for my taste. Therefore, this image isn't really art - not the classy kind anyway! I look like a bum and if you've read all my blogs, you know I'm not a ordinary cat. Ordinary cats do not have their own web site! Or their own domain name! (like huskercat.com)
|Cat in a window.|
-----------------------Now contrast that to this one (below), which to my mind looks pretty classy. I kept the same pose in this one. That way you can judge them without bias for your conclusion that I'm a very classy cat. Note that the viewers attention is drawn to me. There are no pointless parts of the image. Just me and I'm all framed up which emphasizes my superiority and greatness in the feline domain.
Let's face it, no "humble" cat (never met one of those, btw) would draw a viewers complete attention like I do. This is a great image. It is clear that this frame and the wall and floor, for that matter, are simply a artistic vehicle to make me look good! And that's how art works.
|Cat in a frame|