Fabulous Felines

 

Felines in all shapes and sizes have been a popular object of adoration and fascination long before the internet came along. In ancient Egypt, cats were celebrated in hieroglyphic paintings, ceremonial objects, and famous monuments such as the Great Sphinx of Giza. They were even worshipped as deities with figurine images. In Greek and Roman art, cats were symbols of freedom and independence. They were commonly represented in mosaics, statues, paintings and tombstones.
Things took a turn for the worse in the Middle Ages, when cats (especially black ones) were often seen as symbols of evil or witchcraft in Europe and Colonial America. Their bad reputation did not travel to the East however: cats in China and Japan were happily portrayed in scenes of nature and daily life as woodblock prints. The Renaissance and Enlightenment brought hope for these elegant creatures, as well as eternal life - renowned masters such as Leonardo Da Vinci, Albrecht Durer, and Rembrandt included cats in their work.
In the 21st Century, it is clear that our fascination with the feline family endures. From the humble house cat to the roaring lion, from the fierce panther to the imposing tiger, cats large and small have been interpreted in just about every style and medium. Here are a few examples from the upcoming show:

From Earle D. Vandekar of Knightsbridge:
A charming Dutch tin-glazed earthenware tile Picture of a cat, Makkum, 20th century. The six tile picture depicts a cat seated on its hind-quarters with its tail curled through its looking forward. 

 

 

From Antonio's Bella Casa:
A superb early 1600's Florentine Carrara marble lion fountain head, mounted on a custom iron stand.

 

 

From Antonio's Bella Casa:
A circa 1815 Roman wood sculpture of a lion on a faux-stone plinth, with a beautifully carved face and mane with vibrant 22k gold gilding. 

 

 

From Arader Galleries:
From left to right:
Felis Jaguarondi (The Yaguarundi), 1883
Felis Javanesis (the little red-spotted cat), 1883
Felis Viverrina (the fishing cat),1883
These magnificent cats are from one of the finest color plate works on mammals, one that describes and illustrates all the species of Cats known at the time of publication - Daniel Elliot’s work entitled A Monograph of the Felidae or Family of Cats.

 

 

From Los Angeles Fine Art Gallery:
Leopard Cubs by Cuthbert Edmund Swan, English School 1870-1931, oil on canvas, signed.