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"Landscape with Cardinal, Passenger Pigeon and Enormous Cat Head"

American Primitive

Primitive was one of the more prolific of the "limners" who traveled from settlement to settlement during the Colonial era, drawing portraits or executing landscapes of the New World. He or she (the first name "American," although quaintly patriotic, does not give any hint as to Primitive's gender) had a distinctive style, instantly recognizable by the presence of the huge cat's head in every painting. There are numerous theories as to what meaning the artist was attempting to convey, especially in paintings like "Washington Crossing the Delaware with Troops and Enormous Cat Head," which seems to be a precursor of René Magritte.

As Primitive got older his or her subjects leaned more toward depressionism, reaching a nadir with "Suicide in the Huguenot Cemetery with Graves Belching Forth the Bones of Sinners Under a Pitchy Sky of Great Foreboding Filled with Lightning Bolts, with Sinister Visions of the Unquiet Dead and Enormous Cat Head."


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