Monday, September 28, 2015

Lubok cat: "He lived sweet, ate sweet and farted sweet"

I stumbled across this image earlier, while researching today's postcard, and it was just too good not to share. Plus, I'm not sure I'll ever get the word "farted" into the headline of a post again. Sarah will be proud.

This is a lubok, which is the name of a type of Russian popular print. The word lubok comes from lub — the type of board the illustrations were printed on. They were cheap, colorful and plentiful and could be used to decorate the homes of the middle and lower classes.

According to Wikipedia, this is an eighteenth century piece of folk art titled Cat of Kazan. The text translates to: "Cat of Kazan, mind of Astrakhan, reason of Siberia, he lived sweet, ate sweet and farted sweet."

Luboks were often a form of satire. This one might have been poking fun at Peter the Great. For more about this art form, see this article by Alexander Boguslawski and a 2014 blog post by Pagefiddler.

P.S. — "Farted" in Russian is пукнул.

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