HISTORY OF THE CAT IN THE MIDDLE AGES (PART 12)

The Cat in Ming and Ching Dynasty Paintings: During this period Ming and Ching Dynasty artists, unlike their European counterparts, focused their paintings on cats in tranquil natural settings.  In Cats and Bamboo by Shen Chen-Lin (1427-1509), two white cats with red tassel and gold bell collars demurely look toward the artist, while a third brown cat approaches the other two.

Cats and Bamboo Shen Chen-Lin Ching Dynasty 1644-1912 National Palace Museum, cat in ming and ching dynasty paintings

Cats and Bamboo, Shen Chen-Lin
Ching Dynasty 1644-1912
National Palace Museum

Sketches from Life Shen Chou Ming Dynasty 1427-1509 National Palace Museum, cat in ming and ching dynasty paintings

Sketches from Life Shen Chou
Ming Dynasty 1427-1509
National Palace Museum

  In Cats and Grasses, from the Ming Dynasty, T’ao C’heng portrays twenty-two cats in various poses enjoying a day out.

Cats and Grasses T'ao Ch'eng Ming Dynasty 1368-1644, cat in Ming and Ching dynasty paintings

Cats and Grasses
T’ao Ch’eng
Ming Dynasty
1368-1644

Moreover, the Emperor Hsuan Tsung (1426-35), is said to have found great pleasure in painting cats in his garden.  Depicted as a seemingly peaceful part of an accepted nature, there is great care taken in these cats’ representations, which are permeated by a certain love and respect.

Noble Peonies in a vase Emperor Hsuan-Tsung Ming Dynasty 1368-1644 National Palace Museum,cat in Ming and Ching dynasty paintings

Noble Peonies in a Vase
Emperor Hsuan-Tsung, Ming Dynasty 1368-1644
National Palace Museum

 

Want to know more about the cat in literature, art and history? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for  you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 

Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats

 

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