Cat at Play (on desk with dominos) by Henriette Ronner-Knip

Before #CatsofInstagram, There Was Just Cats in Art

Have you seen the popular hashtag #catsofinstagram? Before viral video snippets, we had drawings and paintings. Cats delighted people in artwork, just as they do now in TikTok videos. For this blog post, I looked at how artists have depicted cats in art throughout the years. 

Here are some of my favorites:

Pierre Bonnard painted this humorous elongated cat sometime before 1923. 


Pierre Bonnard

Pablo Picasso depicted this less cuddly type of cat around 1939: 

Pablo Picasso

Henriette Ronner-Knip captured this Cat at Play perfectly in the mid-1800s. I highly doubt the cat held still while she sketched, though:

Henriette Ronner-Knip

Arthur Rakham illustrated this interesting cat for a Brothers Grimm book. I would not stare too long:

Hansel and Grethal-Rackham-039

Arthur Rakham

Endre Penovác makes these fabulous ink artworks, and is the first artist I thought of when I considered writing this article:

Endre Penovác

I've admired the contemporary artwork of Lisa Krannishfield for a while now. She uses what appears to be watercolor and collaged patterns to depict women in power postures. Occasionally, a cat with attitude makes it into the frame: 

Lisa Krannishfield

And below is a cat portrait I painted for a friend. I'm only adding it because I don't want to be left out! 

"Claudia's Kitten," acrylic ink on yupo. Kasey Wanford

Although I am more of a dog person now, I do like cats. Being allergic, I try to keep my distance when I see them. I choose to believe that most cats respect my aloofness and mirror it. Every once in a while, one comes along who will not comply. Basically, cats do what they want. 

 "I told her I was allergic, but she didn't care" - Kasey

 I hope you enjoyed this catty-jaunt with me!



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