Cats have been featured in works of art for centuries and the first work of art that I know about that has a cat in it was completed back in 1600 B.C. In many of the earlier pieces, these cats were depicted as hunters and protectors, but that has changed tremendously over the years. Nowadays, people can look at paintings or other works of art and find cats that are the center of attention or simply there in the middle of the piece taking a nap.
Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the greatest artists in the world and he absolutely loved cats. He is known to have said, “The smallest feline is a masterpiece”. His most famous works of art include the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper, but in his later years, cats were always in his artwork. Anytime he took out his sketchbook, he would draw cats. These cats might be sleeping or playing and none of them were the same, because he drew the ones that he saw firsthand. He did eventually turn these cats into a masterpiece that he called the Study of Cat Movements and Positions.
Here are some more of the best pieces of art that included cats:
Girl and Cat by Pierre-Auguste Renoir 1880-1881
- Woman with Cat by Kees von Dongen 1908
- The Bridge by Carl Olof Larsson 1912
- Anthropomorphic cat paintings by Louis Wain
- The Cook and the Cat by Théodule-Augustin Ribot 1860s
- The Temptation of St. Anthony by Hieronymous Bosch circa 1501
- Cat Catching a Bird by Picasso 1939
- Olympia by Edouard Manet 1860s
Andy Warhol even created a book in 1954 called “25 Cats Named Sam and One Blue Pussy” that featured his idea of cats incorporated into art.
It isn’t too far-fetched to see why cats have been placed into art works all this time. The lines of a cat are perfect for paintings, sketches, and even photography.
I have two beautiful Sphynx cats, Zucky and Zooky. They are treated like my babies and I love taking them into my studio and taking pictures of them. Sometimes I will dress them up and other times I will use Photoshop to add them into another photo that I took. The possibilities are endless when it comes to cats and photography and as I continue with my journey in art, I am sure that I will find more ways to incorporate my cats into my pieces.
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