The cat metamorphosed into a woman

If there ever lived a painter who had a preference for using animals in his works, it might as well be Marc Chagall. As a child he was extremely shy, what is used as an explanation of this frequent depiction of soft, or even vulnerable animals: donkeys, calves, goats, lams and the likes.
Perhaps this is what lead to an invitation in 1926 to illustrate a classic from French literature: La Fontaine’s Fables. Commissioner Ambroise Vollard was heavily criticized in France for not choosing a fellow-countryman for this assignment. He had definitely noticed a similarity between Chagall and De La Fontaine; they both possessed a sense of esthetic. Either of them had a talent for being ‘being at the same time naive and subtle, realistic and fantastic’.
The work ‘The cat metamorphosed into a woman’ appeals to me a great deal. The storyline describes a man who loves his cat so much, that he sees an ideal woman in her. People that identify with their domestic animal is not a rarity. But it is also a very human trait to wish to change one’s beloveds within a relationship. In De La Fontaine’s fable it looks like it’s all working out for the best, until… a mouse passes by. Than the lady of the manor forgets what she is, and chases the mouse across the floor.
Once a cat, always a cat!

Deze afbeelding heeft een leeg alt-atribuut; de bestandsnaam is N05759_10.jpg
The cat metamorphosed into a woman

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