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A Girl with a Kitten
Probably by Jean-Baptiste Perronneau

Although it bears the artist's signature and the date 1745, it has been thought to be a later imitation of Perronneau, because of some uncertainty in the treatment of the anatomy and an excess of that charm associated with 18th-century French portraits of children. It may, however, be an original.

The girl, who has not been identified, has been posed by the artist, and the kitten by the girl; the apparent naturalness of the portrait is dependent on artifice. A cat is sometimes included in portraits of children as a symbol of the wildness of nature intruding upon the innocence of childhood.

Key facts
Artist Probably by Jean-Baptiste Perronneau
Artist dates 1715/16 - 1783
Full title A Girl with a Kitten
Date made 1743
Medium and support Pastel on blue paper laid down on canvas
Dimensions 59.1 x 49.8 cm
Inscription summary Signed; Dated
Acquisition credit Presented by Sir Joseph Duveen, 1921
Inventory number NG3588
Location in Gallery Not on display
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