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Fact of the day
The Da Vinci Cat
Leonardo da Vinci enjoyed watching cats and sketching their varying moods and postures. Judging by eight preparatory sketches, he planned to create Madonna with an Infant and a Cat. It is clear from his sketch from the British Museum why the painting itself never materialized: this combination of models was a troublesome one. Leonardo has brilliantly caught the struggle between infant and cat, but the sketches he made were obviously dashed off at high speed. It must have dawned on him that any attempt to keep the cat there for the many hours needed for a detailed portrait painting would be doomed to failure. As a result, we have been robbed of a finished painting of a cat by the grand master.
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