Cats In Art

cats in art

Today is Inspire Your Heart With Art Day, so I wanted to pay homage to cats in art.  Cats have been depicted in works of art dating more than 2500 years, with a bronze status of a mother cat and her kittens.

Cats In Art: Ancient Times

Chinese art began featuring cats in the year 1000, around the time the first cats arrived in Japan from India. Artwork was done on silk and often depicted cats as household pets in the company of children.  Scenery depicted in the art was outdoors, featuring rock formations, colorful plants and flowers and other animals such as dogs.

Cats In Art: 1700-1800’s

In the 1700 and 1800’s, Japanese artists made cats the centerpiece of their works.  A famous work of art by Kuniyoshi, called Cats For the Fifty-Three Stations of the Tokkaido Road, shows Bobtails in a variety of feline activities.

Another Japanese artist, Katsushika Hokusai, painted many images of cats, with his most famous work being Cat And Butterfly.

By the 18th century, cats were regularly featured in art from around the world.  A Swiss artist, Gottfried Mind (1768-1814) concentrated on cats in his art and became known as the “Raphael of Cats.”

During the 19th century, many French artists featured cats in many of their works.  Edouard Manet, James Tissot and Eugene Delacroix contributed their cat art to a book entitled Les Chats, one of the first books about cats, first published in 1868.  Another well-known French artist, Pierre-Auguste Renoir painted the famous work, Woman With A Cat in 1875.

Other famous works of art showcasing cats include:

Paris Through The Window (1913) by Marc Chagall

Children Playing With A Cat (1908) by Mary Cassatt

Still-life With Cat (1899) by Paul Gauguin

Cat Fight (1786-88) by Goya

This week, find some time to appreciate some art, preferably some that showcases cats!

Written by Karen


Karen is Publisher of Fully Feline. She also owns a pet care business in Overland Park, KS called Joy of Living.