The Book, Cat, & Cat Book Lovers Almanac

of historical trivia regarding books, cats, and other animals. Actually this blog has evolved so that it is described better as a blog about cats in history and culture. And we take as a theme the advice of Aldous Huxley: If you want to be a writer, get some cats. Don't forget to see the archived articles linked at the bottom of the page.

June 2, 2016

June 2, 1840

Here is a 19th century painting by the French artist Emile Munier (June 2, 1840 to June 29, 1895). Munier,  the son of an artist, was born in Paris.

According to one source:

Emile Munier began his artistic studies training to become an upholstery artist at the Manufacture nationale des Gobelins under the tutelage of Abel Lucas and studied painting, anatomy, perspective and chemistry. During his tenure at the Gobelins, Munier also espoused the ideals of Academic painting championed by William Bouguereau and the young artist entered the studio of the great master in the early 1870s. Munier was a frequent exhibitor at the Salon from 1869 to 1895 where he won three medals and was also a member of the Société des Artists Français.

Munier's two children, Henri and Marie-Louise, were the artist's primary source of inspiration beginning in the early 1880s and they appear frequently in his work. Marie-Louise in particular appears in many of his paintings, .....

The children's mother died, and their father remarried, a close friend of the couple, Sargine Augrand, in 1872. He soon began studying with Bouguereau. His saccharine portraits were very popular and besides winning prizes were featured in soap advertisements.

Sentimentality may always cover ignorance. Whatever the reasons the moderns had for rejecting this kind of art, you can see in our painting above, the grasp Marie-Louise has on the bowl would never actually hold it up. In our time we have seen sentimentality cover not just ignorance but brutality in reference to cat art. I think of those videos where a little thought would discover that only duress could produce some viral popularity.

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