[Lady standing at window, with cat]
Thomas P. Anshutz
A young woman watches as her playful cat stretches up the window frame to reach a birdcage. Although a charming scene with great appeal, perhaps the most profound subject of the work is its analysis of light. As in an over-exposed photograph, the brilliant sunshine that floods the room dissolves the arm of the settee, the edges of the cat’s body, and the right edge of the woman’s face, arm and hip to a startling degree. Anshutz’s placement of the woman between the window and the settee provided opportunities to reproduce the effects of direct and reflected light upon her. While the woman’s face catches the bright sunlight, the sheen of the armrest reflects upon the wall beneath the window and the woman’s skirt, bathing the wall and fabric in pink and gold hues. These features of the work reflect Anshutz’s openness to impressionism and post-impressionism, contemporary styles that he encountered as a student in Paris during the early 1890s.