This painting is based on a fable by Jean de La Fontaine in which a rabbit and a weasel ask a cat to settle an argument, only to be devoured by their would-be judge. Decamps made a number of paintings depicting scenes from La Fontaine’s fables, though in this case the narrative is less important than the naturalistic depiction of the animals and the forest setting.
|Medium||Oil on canvas|
|Dimensions||9 1/2 x 13 1/2 in. (24.1 x 34.3 cm) Frame: 18 7/8 x 23 x 3 1/8 in. (47.9 x 58.4 x 7.9 cm)|
|Acquisition||Acquired by Sterling and Francine Clark, 1922|
Gabriel Alexandre Decamps, Cat, Weasel, and Rabbit, 1836, Oil on canvas. The Clark Art Institute, 1955.699.
Lees, Sarah, ed. Nineteenth-Century European Paintings at the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute. Williamstown, MA: Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute; New Haven and London: distributed by Yale University Press, 2012.
Salomon Goldschmidt (until 1888, his sale, Georges Petit, Paris, 17 May 1888, no. 7, as Le Chat, Le Lapin et La Belette); George I. Seney, New York (until 1891, his sale, American Art Association, New York, 11–13 Feb. 1891, no. 237, sold to Knoedler); [Knoedler, New York, from 1891]; William Albert Slater, Washington (by 1894, d. 1919); [Knoedler, New York, sold to Clark, 1 June 1922]; Robert Sterling Clark (1922–55); Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute, 1955.