1932 (Au Chat Botté)
Europe, United Kingdom, England
oil/oil and pencil on canvas
92.3 x 122 cm
Au Chat Botté 1932
Ben Nicholson 1894 - 1982
Oil and pencil on canvas
'Au Chat Botté' means 'Puss in Boots'.
It was the name of a shoe shop
that Nicholson saw on a street in Dieppe, France.
The red lettering on the shop window attracted him,
drawing his attention to intriguing juxtapositions
between real objects and 'unreal' reflections.
The experience of looking at as well as through glass
made him think about a further, imagined dimension.
In the tradition of experimental Cubist art,
Nicholson paints conventional still life objects
rather than a display of shoes:
table, jug, bowl, guitar and portrait bust.
This disembodied head may be the reflection
of his companion, the sculptor Barbara Hepworth.