5 Cat Paintings in Art History Every Cat Lover Would Love

cat painting

Either you hate them or love them, you cannot deny the fact that cats are present in almost every sphere of our lives – that includes arts and paintings too. The felines are often celebrated for their grace, poise, ability to kill, and even as protectors of humans, which can be seen in art history time and again.

Cats have played a major role in multiple human civilizations, and most importantly in Egypt – multiple traces of humans interacting with cats in Egyptian civilization have been discovered. They have even been mummified after death, just like humans.

In today’s article, we bring you 5 purr-ifically outstanding paintings of cats in art history. These cat paintings are something that every cat lover would love and want to hang them on their wall.

Cat Devouring a Bird – Pablo Picasso

Cat Devouring a Bird
Cat Devouring a Bird

First on the list is, Cat Devouring a Bird, by celebrated Spanish artist Pablo Picasso – one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. While many of the cat paintings portray the cat as a sweet, fluffy house pet, who loves to sleep all the time, on the mat and their owners’ laps.

Contrary to that, this particular painting of Picasso portrays a cat in its natural avatar – a ferocious hunter devouring its prey. The painting captures the cat biting a bird’s head off in a rage, during a full-on clash. The bird desperately struggles to free itself from its attacker, but in the end, it means nothing.

This masterpiece was created during the Civil War when the artist had just lost his mother. Digging deep down the painting, it is pretty clear that the painting is the result of Pablo’s continuous interest in violence and chaos. Picasso later on even focused on other animals with ferocious expressions with the dark color palette.

The Cook and The Cat – Theodule-Augustus Ribot

The Cook and The Cat
The Cook and The Cat

Cat and Fish, there has always been something natural about them. That is exactly what French painter Theodule-Augustus Ribot tried to represent in this particular painting titled “The Cook and The Cat.”

The French realist painter has always been famous for portraying humble kitchen scenes of the mid-1800s. The cook and the cat perfectly depict the playfulness of the feline thief as it slowly paws the object which it desires the most. The cook on the other side is trying to finish the rest of its meal and seems to have noticed the stealing little pet.

However, it seems like the cook is purposely ignoring his furry friend’s act so that it gets a treat. The painting has beautiful color usage and catches both cat’s and cook’s act realistically – just the way Ribot has always been famous for.

Le Chat Noir – Theophile Steinlen

Le Chat Noir
Le Chat Noir

Le Chat Noir, aka The Black Cat, is a nineteenth-century entertainment establishment in the bohemian Montmartre district in Paris. The nightclub of the same name is now considered to be the first modern cabaret, where people would come for drinks while being entertained by various stage shows.

Advertising in the 18th and 19th centuries became very sophisticated and had become an art form in itself. This particular poster art is one of the most famous cat paintings of all time and was created by painter and printmaker Theophile Steinlin. The proud-standing black cat promoted a tour of the cabaret entertainment troupes to other major cities of the country.

While the club has been long gone, the poster remains to be a mainstay on many walls and is still the perfect representation of 19th century Paris. Today, the reproductions of the picture can be bought everywhere in the city.

Child With Cat – Pierre Auguste Renoir

Child With Cat
Child With Cat

The simple pleasures and comforts of youth exemplified with their feline friend are amazingly depicted by Pierre Auguste Renoir in this masterpiece of a painting. Renoir has crafted a number of paintings with cats as the subject but the Child with Cat is probably the best.

What makes it a stand-out cat painting of Renoir is the amount of research done for the picture. It is said that the maestro had made at least four preparatory drawings, tried several sitting positions, and tested numerous color compositions, before finalizing the picture.

The beautiful girl in the painting is Julie Manet, Edouard Manet’s niece. Edouard Manet commissioned a portrait of their niece and the kitten was just an addition to the picture. The sweet addition is surely worth applauding.

Cats and Kittens – Walter Frederick Osborne

Cats and Kittens
Cats and Kittens

Painted by Walter Frederick Osborne, Cats and Kittens are one of the most popular cat pictures of all time. Son of a successful animal painter, Walter followed his father’s footsteps at an early age and often painted portraits of animals, mostly cats.

The painting features a tortoiseshell and a cat watching her two kittens peacefully. The black little kitten drinks its milk from the bowl while the other, which is colored like the mother cat, is waiting for its turn calmly.

The painting looks absolutely realistic – all thanks to the Taylor Prize winner artist’s superb knowledge in color usage. The painting is an absolute delight for art lovers and it makes for a great mural.

The Bottom Line

These were some of the best cat paintings in art history, and having them will really help you to showcase your love for the felines. The best place to get a reproduction work of these masterpieces is 1st Art Gallery – a place where you will find an art piece like no other place. And the best part is they do not disturb the originality of the picture until the clients tell them to.

Helen Miller

Helen Miller is a freelance writer at Usevoucher. She covers personal finance topics in a syndicated column that appears in Financial Planning Magazine. Her work has been featured by Market Watch, Digital Journal, Chicago Tribune, USA Today, and Yahoo Finance. Helen has a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of California, Los Angeles.