friends in the forest - kittelsen's "cat and squirrel"

thanks the-athenaeum.org (PD)
Turns out I should have heard of Theodor Kittelsen (1857-1914) a long time ago, as he's one of Norway's most popular artists.  This is Cat and Squirrel from 1893.  Warm, lively and cheerful, it has the intimate feel for nature that you see in Romantic art, but with a smaller, cozier focus.  Kittelsen looked at trolls, water spirits, country lanes - and also at disease, loneliness, and starvation.  His illustrations for a book of poetry titled Svartedauen (Black Death) are filled with menace, but no less understated and beautiful for all that.