"Stroking the Cat" was created in 1924, in the last of Xu's 4 years of study at the Higher School of Fine Arts in Paris, France. In the year he graduated, he was in an extremely creative state of mind.The creations he produced that year, whether paintings or sketches, were generally of high artistic value.Both Xu Beihong and Jiang Biwei were very fond of cats. Xu had cats throughout his life and featured them in a number of Chinese paintings that he produced.In one of their few portraits as a couple, Xu depicted the two of them stroking a cat. This relatively leisurely scene of daily life has a pleasant and relaxed feel to it.


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