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The cat who caught the bird

Painting, 1939, 81×100 cm

Description of the artwork «The cat who caught the bird»

Picasso once said: "I can't stand the purebred cats that purr on the pillow in the living room. I like feral cats, chasing birds, running through the streets like a madman, taking away everything that is no hitting. They look at you with wild eyes and that and look will bite you in the face. Have you noticed that cats living in the wild, almost always pregnant? This is quite natural: after all, they only talk about love".

The animal shown in the picture "The cat that caught the bird" has little common with this a bit cruel, but quite attractive and cheerful way. Except, perhaps, wild eyes. The artist has depicted a threatening predator with a mouth full of sharp teeth, impressive claws and a hypnotic stare. The viewer can almost hear the chatter of cat sound – something between a contented rumbling growl and a warning. Thanks to the bright white glowing eyes and frightening animal claws stand out against the wool, done in muted, dark shades of brown. Wool seems dirty and matted, this effect is further enhanced by the sand, which the artist mixed into the paint during painting work. View of open wound on the body of a bird beating in a vain attempt to free himself from the grip of his tormentor, causing a feeling of genuine horror. Picasso transforms a scene from everyday life almost in an apocalyptic plot.

Critics agree that Picasso's paintings of this period on the themes of death and violence, at the same time reflect his attitude to the Civil war in Spain to demonstrate a premonition of the nightmare of World that will soon plunge the whole world. In the first three months of 1939 Franco's troops occupied Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia, and Hitler had already started the invasion of Eastern Europe. A tragic event happened in the life of Picasso: in January, his mother died. Experiences of the artist spilled on the canvas in the form creepy catsand skinned lamb heads.

Picasso said: "I wrote the war because I am not the type of artists who paint what they see, as photographers. But, of course, the war is present in the paintings, which I wrote at the time. Later historians might talk about how my work has changed under the influence of the war".

Author: Eugene Sidelnikov
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About the artwork

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Art form: Painting

Subject and objects: Animalism

Style of art: Symbolism

Technique: Oil

Materials: Canvas

Date of creation: 1939

Size: 81×100 cm

Artwork in selections: 22 selections

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