Object Record

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Collection Museum of Fine Arts
Title Lady with a Cat
Object ID MFA-34.18
Object Name Painting
Description Many itinerant artists included the family dog or cat as part of the portraits they painted. Not always concerned with anatomical correctness, the animals are found in any number of forms and shapes from stylized to naturalistic. The animals were often mixed breeds common to barnyards or urban streets. In this painting, Fletcher portrays a young girl with a book. In the corner of the composition, a small gray cat sits in the window and mimics the young girl's gaze.

Aaron Dean Fletcher was among the many self-taught artists who produced portraits during the 19th century. He started working at an early age, painting portraits of relatives and neighbors from 1835 to 1840. The artist moved to Keeseville, New York in 1840. Over the next 14 years, perhaps as a result of ill health, he painted only 28 portraits. After traveling West, Fletcher became increasingly interested in painting landscapes. Although Fletcher lived to be 85 years old, the last 40 years of his career are shrouded in mystery and no works after 1862 have been recorded.
Artist FLETCHER, Aaron Dean, Attributed to
Country AMERICAN
Date before 1862
Medium Oil on canvas
Dimensions H-27 W-24 inches
Credit line Gift of the Springfield Library Association
On Exhibit Yes, Michele and Donald D'Amour Museum of Fine Arts