The idea of this painting is the artistís subconscious desire to open himself up and his attitude. The main character of this painting is an old man. Thus, the artist shows his deep respect for the whole of human knowledge and the wisdom that comes with age.
His companion is a cat. In symbolism the cat has many qualities. First of all, it represents the feminine principle. In ancient Greece and Rome, people believed that black cats possessed a magic force and served against evil. Since antiquity, Europeans considered this animal as a symbol of freedom — it does not like to be caught and kept somewhere. (Earlier, the Swiss and Bourguignon coats of arms featured a cat, thus symbolizing freedom.)
In the symbolism, the birds are creatures that are considered to be close to the heavens because of their wings. They are the embodiment of manís desire to be rid of earthly burdens and to rise up into the sky like angels.
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