Feline Masterpieces: Iconic Cats from the Art History Canon with Dr. Alette Fleischer

Feline Masterpieces: Iconic Cats from the Art History Canon with Dr. Alette Fleischer


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Wednesday, May 26, 2021 at 1:00 PM EDT
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From ancient Egypt to today, cats have been a captivating companion for humans and a permanent source of inspiration for artists from all centuries and cultures. As the great Leonardo da Vinci stated: “Even the smallest feline is a masterpiece.”

Throughout human history, the cat has been given a special place in our lives. A cat can be anything between a deity and a demon. The feline is both domesticated and wild, a cruel mouse-hunter and a loving companion. Our furry purring friend is very good at laying in the sun or in front of the fireplace, it comes to you for attention and leaves when it has enough. The affection that humans feel for their feline friends, can run very deep.

The cat has been a subject of study and admiration all over history and cultures, from Egypt to Japan, and from 1500 BC up to today. Cats can be hilariously funny and very endearing, and the number of cat videos watched per day runs in the millions! This seminar focuses on how painters and sculptors portrayed individual cats, which role or function the cat had in the artwork, and the interplay between cat and audience.

Led by an expert on 17th-century art history, Dr. Alette Fleischer, this interactive seminar will muse on our fascination for felines through the lens of art history. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased awareness of the important role of cats in history and culture.

Amsterdam-born Alette Fleischer has a degree in Art History and a PhD in 17th Dutch History, focusing on gardens, science, and technology. She has curated several exhibitions, publishes articles, presents lectures, and a proud Context Expert. For Context Travel, Alette has led the Rijksmuseum tours many times. Motto: staying curious is key for being a good historian.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

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