The Cover Section Editor: M. Therese Southgate, MD, Senior Contributing Editor.
Edouard Manet (1832-1883) spent almost all of his sadly abbreviated career seeking the approval of the French art establishment for his paintings. Instead, he seemed only to provoke scandal or, worse, ridicule. But Manet was also a graphic artist of considerable talent and for that he was appreciated by his peers. Most of this work was done relatively early in his career, between about 1862 and 1868. One of the last of this period is Le rendezvous des chats (cover). The image was originally executed as a woodcut for a little book by one of his friends, Jules Husson, who is better known by the nom de plume Champfleury. Entitled Les chats, the book was a lighthearted compendium of cat lore and was illustrated with literary anecdotes as well as with graphic designs. Among the numerous contributors, besides Manet, were Eugène Delacroix, Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, and the Japanese woodcut master Hokusai. Of all the “intriguing illustrations,” it was Manet’s, said a friendly critic, that were the “most intriguing.”
Southgate MT. Le rendezvous des chats. JAMA. 2007;297(15):1627. doi:10.1001/jama.297.15.1627