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The painting was inspired by a reproduction of an early nineteenth century engraving of the same title which was a political satire. Kitaj's painting is concerned with the notion of the idyll and the relationship between two people as in a novel. He has stated: 'I thought that the man should be telling the cat that there is a better life out in the world beyond this room'. Kitaj has created the painting by bringing together elements from a number of

August 2004