Cat – Oriental Study 1 (1998)
Signed and numbered 2/15 behind left leg
Bronze on marble base, H. 41.9 cm
Bought directly from the artist in 2000, thence by descent to the present owner
The artist’s cat was the model for this sculpture (see inserted photo).
Dylan Lewis was raised in an artistic family in South Africa. His father was an accomplished sculptor, his mother and his grandmother were painters, and two great-grandfathers were an architect and cabinetmaker, respectively. Lewis initially followed in the family tradition, beginning his career as a painter, but later turned to sculpture. In 1994 Lewis moved to a farm outside Stellenbosch, where he has built his studio and bronze foundry. Working within a strict self-imposed discipline of direct observation of nature, he immerses himself in his subject, sketching and sculpting ceaselessly. It is this combination of love, truth and hard work that give shape to his powerful evocations of animal form and animal force. Lewis’ interest in the leopard, at first casual, has become an obsession which encompasses not only the leopard but also other big cats. The leopard became the first feline in his extensive Cat Collection.
“Sculpting is an attempt to survive what it feels like to be human.” – Dylan Lewis