“Leżca kotka” – a cult project by Mieczysław Naruszewicz

“The Lying Cat” is one of the most recognisable figurines produced at the ćmiel porcelain manufactory. It was designed by Mieczysław Naruszewicz in 1958. On the occasion of International Cat Day, we would like to remind you of this iconic Polish design project, as well as describe the unique place of the same name.

The most numerous group in the AS Ćmielów porcelain collection are animals. Among the figurines you can find dogs, birds, exotic, forest and domestic animals. But also of course… cats! There are over four hundred designs of porcelain works of art produced at the AS Ćmielów manufactory. The “Lying Cat” figurine, among others, has gained cult status.

The most elegant among cats

As described by Katarzyna Rij (an expert on Ćmiel porcelain, as well as an art historian and owner of the Van Rij Gallery), the intimate sculpture of this very figurine created by Naruszewicz is the quintessence of the characteristics attributed to cats.

Rendered in ‘white gold’, as the precious ceramic is called, with its soft lines, lack of detail and openwork, characteristic of the ‘new look’ style, it delights not only with its form, but also with the idea of a feline character. The black painting and the stripes on the tail add to the elegance of the figurine. However, it is painted in various colour shades – including grey and brown,” describes Katarzyna Rij. As she points out, the ‘Lying Cat’ is one of the few designs that were made in the 1950s and 1960s.

Thrifty in decoration and beautiful

This figurine, like the other porcelain cats in the AS Ćmielów range, is a synthetic, sparing representation, lacking detail, but evocative in its expression, as it emphasises all the associations associated with cats – their long bodies arranged in characteristic arched poses accurately hit the most basic association with feline forms. Among them, the arch that can be seen on a cat’s back every day, as owners of these domesticated predators know best, ” Rij further describes.

Fake cat attempts

The design of the cat created by Narushevich has become so popular that there have been several attempts at counterfeiting. Therefore, at the Living Porcelain Museum in Ćmielów, educators show visitors how to distinguish an original from a fake. “Fake” cats were created at least twice – from faience and from plastic.

Of course, none of the fakes have marks and a certificate of authenticity, which prove the originality and legal origin, adds Katarzyna Rij, who invites you to visit Ćmielów, but also the Van Rij Gallery in Kraków, where you can see the original designs of AS Ćmielów.

A cat on a… café table?

‘Lying cat’, however, is not just a figurine, but also a… café. This is the name of the café located on the premises of the Porcelain Factory AS Ćmielów and the Live Porcelain Museum.

There are cafes in the world that are worth visiting at least once in a lifetime. These undoubtedly include the Café de la Paix in Paris, the Emporio Armani Café in Dubai or the Grand Café Gambrinus in Naples. There is a saying that if you can walk, you are bound to end up in Venice sooner or later, and while in Venice to Cafe Florian in St Mark’s Square. For 300 years, coffee has been served there on a silver tray, accompanied by an orchestra of several people,” you can read on the AS Ćmielów website.

The ‘Leżca Kotka’ café in Ćmielów is also such a place. What makes our café unique is the possibility to choose the cup in which guests drink their coffee or tea. You can choose from 60 different models of cups made of, for example, pink or emerald porcelain,” describes factory owner Adam Spała and cordially invites you to visit (not only on International Cat Day)! In the café, each table also features a figurine created by Naruszewicz.

source: AS Ćmielów

Read also: Ceramics | Detail | History | Animals | Curiosities | whiteMAD on Instagram

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