One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A canvas of a standard size (typically 36 × 28 in., 91.5 × 71 cm), especially as used for a life-size portrait (kit-cat portrait) showing the sitter's head, shoulders, and one or both hands.
painting, picture, drawing, sketch, likeness, image, study, representation, portrayal, depiction, canvasView synonyms
- ‘The term ‘kit-cat’ is in consequence still used for portraits of this size, with one arm shown.’
- ‘It is a kit-cat portrait of an elderly seated man, turned three-quarters left and looking forward.’
Mid 18th century: named after a series of portraits of the members of the Kit-Cat Club.
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