Dear humans, have you ever seen a Cat in search of lost time and dinner, flying over your head when you prepare food in your kitchen? If not, just raise your head and you’ll see the truth! So did great Italian painter Andrea Mantegna. Then he depicted the flying cat at his famous Oculus at the ceiling of the Camera degli Sposi (“bridal chamber”), now known as the Camera picta, in the Ducal Palace, Mantua, Italy. It was painted between 1465 and 1474.
Unfortunately, Ludovico Gonzaga, who commissioned the painting, was not so fast in serving dinner to his cat. Every time he looked at the ceiling with the flying feline, he told himself «OMG, again I was so busy in theses bloody political intrigues, that I lost time to serve dinner to my cat when needed!»
Finally, he hired a servant to remind him about his noble duty and asked to paint a fly instead of the hungry cat to symbolize that there is no more a problem (or maybe to remind himself that now he should take care about a hungry peacock who hunts the fly at the painting)
But really, art would not suffer because of a human’s struggle with his own conscience!
We restored the original for Our pleasure and to make you a reminder
We should say We encouraged Our humble assistant to place a copy of the masterpiece at the ceiling of her kitchen to keep her conscience vigilant concerning Our noble needs.
Sometimes We graciously fly high there to make Our servant give Us a tasty reward
Now don’t lose time, just go and give a tasty dinner to your feline!
Thus speaks Zarathustra the Cat