Saturday, April 6, 2019

Cats: The Soft Underbelly of the Enlightenment

 Jean-Baptiste Oudry, Le Général, 1728. Detail.

Academia is gradually turning to more “open access” methods of publishing rather than depending on stuffy, expensive journals. Instead of the usual expensive subscription needed to enjoy the latest research, the general public can now browse for themselves recent scholarship free of charge. I’ve had the pleasure of discovering this week one such resource: Journal18, described as “the first journal dedicated to the field of eighteenth-century art history”. Each issue has a theme, the latest one as of this writing being “Animals”.

Well, dear cat lovers, I would invite you to read this excellent article which reflects on the evolution of the cat as an allegory in 18th century art. It is a fascinating journey through period representations of felines, the early days of biology, philosophy, and political theory.

Freund, Amy, et Michael Yonan, « Cats: The Soft Underbelly of the Enlightenment », Journal18: A Journal of Eighteenth-Century Art and Culture, Volume 7, (Spring 2019). Online: