23 Famous Cat Paintings That Have Made History Hiss-terical!

23 Famous Cat Paintings That Have Made History Hiss-terical!

Cats are worthy of being muses and the famous cat paintings are a witness to it.

Leonardo Da Vinci wasn’t kidding when he said “The smallest feline is a masterpiece.” For centuries cats have been the subject of art and admiration.

And let’s accept it, even today the internet is going bonkers about these crazy little creatures.

Being popular among Victorian women, cats have been portrayed as their companions in the famous cat paintings.

In fact, a lot of theorists have seen an uncanny resemblance between cats and female sexuality which has become the central idea in a lot of these famous paintings of cats.

So, without further ado, let’s have a look at these 23 famous cat paintings that have made history a little more hissss-terical.

Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy a famous cat paintings

23. Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy

ArtistDavid Hockney
Painted In1971
MediumAcrylic on Canvas
LocationTate Britain, London
Dimension213.4 cm × 305.1 cm

David Hockney is known for adding romance in paintings by creating paintings of imaginary couples in different scenarios.

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One of such paintings happens to have a cat in the frame.

It is painted from the central perspective of the artist where both the characters seem to look out of the painting.

This famous cat art uses pastel shades that almost soothe your mind when you look at it.

When asked Hockney about this painting, he answered that the only aim of this painting was “to achieve the presence of two people in a room” with the main aim to “paint the relationship of these two people.”

Image: Wikipedia

Two children teasing a cat famous cat paintings

22. Two Children Teasing A Cat

ArtistAnnibale Carracci
Painted In1590
MediumOil Paint
LocationThe Metropolitan Museum of Art
Dimension66 cm x 88.9 cm

Have you ever teased a cat? Well, the only two reaction one can expect is either a scratch or a sudden jump!

Cats are hypersensitive to their surroundings and this cat painting pretty much explores that.

Viewers are presented to judge the result of teasing the cat. One can see the cat almost growling and about to react.

With directness and spontaneity, this famous cat painting carries the lesson of “Let sleeping dogs lie.”

Image: Wikipedia

The white cat famous cat paintings

21. The White Cat

ArtistPierre Bonnard
Painted In1894
MediumOil on Cardboard
LocationMusée d’Orsay
Dimension51.9 cm x 33.5 cm

Cats have this weird way of stretching themselves and Bonnard decided to capture the posture in this cat art.

This famous cat painting called The White Cat was painted in 1984 in Musée d’Orsay, Paris.

As easy as it may look, this is one of the famous paintings with cats that took Bonnard some time to decide on the placement of paws.

Bonnard mostly painted cats as the subject of art and has been known as a cat painter.

Image: Wikipedia

The cat's lunch famous cat paintings

20. The Cat’s Lunch

ArtistMarguerite Gerard
Painted InBetween 18th and 19th centuries
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationFragonard Museum
Dimension61 cm x 50 cm

The Cat Lunch by Marguerite Gérard has been one of the famous paintings with cats.

Gérard was known to produce prolific oil paintings and her brother-in-law convinced her to add cats to her artworks.

She was known to depict domestic life and the importance of music and female companionship. But with time she started emphasizing the essence of a cat’s companionship.

A young lady feeding her cat shows a clear influence of both cats and females in her painting illustrating the experiences of motherhood and childhood within the household.

P.S. – The dog’s face though. 😂

Image: pixels, by Marguerite Gerard

Julie Manet painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

19. Julie Manet

ArtistPierre-Auguste Renoir
Painted In1887
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationMusée d’Orsay
Dimension650 mm x 540 mm

Pierre-Auguste Renoir, known for the development of impressionist paintings, was a very dear friend of Berthe Morisot and her husband, Eugène Manet.

The couple wanted him to paint a picture of their daughter Julie.

Now, I wouldn’t call it one of the typical famous paintings of cats since Renoir’s main subject was their daughter.

However, this is a very sweet memory and keeps reminding us of how cats have been an important part of almost every woman’s life in the medieval and post-medieval eras.

Honestly, I am unsure of how I would have lived without my cats.

Interesting fact: Julie Manet is also known as ‘Child With Cat’.

Image: Wikipedia

the cat is one of the famous cat paintings

18. The Cat

ArtistVan Der Leck
Painted In1914
MediumCasein on Cement Board
LocationKröller-Müller Museum
Dimension37 cm x 29 cm

Known to use geometric lines and asymmetrical structures with simple colors, the De Stijl movement used abstract artwork to go beyond the limits of life and conventional art.

Bart Van Der Leck, the founder of the magazine (based on the same movement), painted The Cat.

It has been one of the most famous cat paintings of the 20th century.

Primarily his paintings consisted of three primary colors – yellow, blue, and red.

But post his travel to Paris, he was inspired by the artists around him and developed a likeness for sober and solid colors.

The result of which was The Cat.

Depicting the face of the cat from both sides and front using black, orange, red, and white as the only colors.

Indeed, one of the best famous paintings with cats – and very decent too.

Image: etsy

The Cat at Play by Henriette is one the famous cat paintings

17. The Cat At Play

ArtistHenriette Ronner-Knip
Painted In1860-1878
MediumOil on Panel
LocationRijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Dimension32.8cm ×  45.2cm

Pet portraits have forever been popular among the wealthy bourgeois of the Victorian era.

Born in a family of painters, Henriette Ronner was also fond of painting her pets and the mischief each animal contained.

Most of her sentimental paintings were of her cats playing in the most innocent of manners. In fact, most of her cat paintings were of them getting involved in nasty domestic scenes.

They have proved to be her favorite.

She has also been an avid reader of cats as a subject for painting with sincerity.

To an extent that she built a glass studio to let her cats play around and get in all kinds of trouble so that she could capture their beauty.

The Cat At Play has become one of the best cat paintings among all the female painters.

Image: Wikipedia

The black cat by Min Zhen is one of the famous cat paintings

16. The Black Cat

Painted In18th Century
MediumInk on Paper
LocationPrinceton, University Art Museum
Dimension78.5 cm x 38.5 cm

Min Zhen, a Chinese painter, was noted for painting human figures and occasional finger paints.

He has been associated with the Eight Eccentrics of Yangzhou, a group of eight Chinese painters of the 18th century who were known for rejecting orthodox ideas about painting in favor of a style they deemed expressive and individualist.

Of the post-renaissance cat paintings, there is hardly any information about this cat painting.

All this is, is a painting of a gorgeous fat cat and nothing more than that.

Image: Art Museum Princeton University

Cat Catching a Bird by Pablo Picasso

15. Cat Catching A Bird

ArtistPablo Picasso
Painted In1939
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationMusée Picasso, Paris, France
Dimension81 cm x 100 cm

Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous artists, was always known for the kind of abstract art that he created.

However, Cat Catching A Bird, was less of an abstract and more of a depiction of the horrors of war.

This famous cat painting was commissioned in the year 1939 – the year of the war.

Picasso said, “the subject obsessed me, I don’t know why.”

The struggles of the bird to desperately free itself from the harsh torments of the cat were clear depictions of the horrors of war.

The background, as neutral as it could be, did nothing to add comfort.

The cat made sure to postpone the killing of the bird for as long as possible putting giving her absolute power.

Of all the famous cat paintings, this one has blown the apocalyptic covers to a new height. Picasso made sure to portray the gruesome experience of war through this painting.

Now we know how important cat paintings have been in the history of civilization.

P.S. This is also one of the first famous black cat paintings on my list.

Image: wikiart

La Poete famous cat paintings

14. La Poeté

ArtistMarc Chagall
Painted InCirca 1949-1950
MediumInk and Pencil on Paper
LocationNot Disclosed
Dimension53.1 cm x 36.8 cm

A pioneer of modernism in art, Marc Chagall, experienced the golden age of Paris.

He has not only been an influential figure of modernism but has also been a proactive practitioner of Surrealism, Symbolism, and Fauvism.

Throughout his life, he has painted the struggles of peasants, raw villages, and personal experiences of a Jewish village.

Chagall has forever been a cat person and has often used their reference to the fantastic character of his paintings.

Like Marguerite Gérard, Chagall also used cats as companions of the main subject, poets, musicians, and women.

Interesting Fact: Marc Chagall’s stained glass has been put up in Reims cathedral

Image: Pinterest by Dailyartmagazine

Raminou painting by Suzan Valadon is one of the famous cat paintings

13. Raminou

ArtistSuzan Valadon
Painted In1920
MediumOil Painting
LocationPrivate Collection
Dimension60.96 cm x 50.8 cm

Suzan Valadon, the first woman painter to get admitted to Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts, was a French painter known for her still paintings.

But she was majorly famous for her female nude paintings made from her perspective.

Suzan was also a cat lover and painted their portraits quite often.

Her famous paintings of cats have been of her favorite kitty Raminou.

The striking colors of this painting of her fat tabby ginger cat have taken people with aww.

Raminou, in fact, looks absolutely cuddly. The striking colors along with strong compositions have made the artwork look attractive.

It does stand out from all the famous cat paintings.

Image: wikiart

A white cat playing famous cat paintings

12. A White Cat Playing with a String

ArtistHiroshige II
Painted In1863
MediumWoodblock print (nishiki-e); Ink and color on paper
LocationNot Disclosed
Dimension21.3 cm x 26.7 cm

Hiroshige II, a successor of his mentor, Hiroshige, mostly followed his painting styles and techniques.

It is mostly comprised of horizontal landscapes, urban populations, and travel art.

Hiroshige II came up with a unique style for this artwork particularly.

He observed his house cat for a long time and decided to paint a cat portrait while he was at play in a bold and minimal manner.

The whitetail blob cat was captured with his hind leg braced against the ground, biting the string.

A depiction of a very regular day in a cat and his owner’s life.

Now, it may not be an ideal famous painting of a cat but it surely captures the most innocent of things in the most minimal way.

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Image: Arts Mia

The white cat by Franz Marc is one of the famous cat paintings

11. The White Cat

ArtistFranz Marc
Painted In1912
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationKunstmuseum Moritzburg
Dimension50 cm x 60 cm

Can you believe that this is one of the Renaissance cat paintings?

Franz Marc was known for his pet portraits. He painted everything from horse portraits to dogs, and well…cats too.

Now, cats are inquisitive animals. And it was their personality that made Franz capture these animals when they did the most unusual of things.
He captured them ideally while sleeping and grooming themselves.

He believed that animals especially cats were a symbol of purity, innocence, truth, and beauty. Most of Franz’s famous cat paintings were of cats in baskets, pillows, and red cloth which were mostly painted in three colors to symbolize certain things.

For Franz blue represented masculinity and spirituality, yellow represented feminine happiness and red represented violence.

Making The White Cat one of the most famous cat paintings of history.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Girl and cat by Renoir is one of the famous cat paintings

10. Girl and Cat

ArtistPierre-Auguste Renoir
Painted In1882
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationPrivate Collection
Dimension56 cm x 46.4 cm

Another Renoir.

We all know by now that Renoir’s subject of the painting remains feline and female, forever.

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This painting is one of her more famous cat paintings. The central idea remains the same for both the portraits, but this one has a hinge of inquisitiveness and indifference attached to it.

Something took the cat’s attention and instantly alerted the woman too.

The perfect balance of a curious cat and an indifferent woman is well evident in the painting.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

Woman with cat famous cat paintings

9. Woman With Cat

ArtistKees Von Dongen
Painted In1908
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationMilwaukee Art Museum, Milwaukee
Dimension91.76 cm x 73.66 cm

This is one of the most delicate cat paintings in history by a fauvist painter.

Dongen, juxtaposed delicate and serene colors to portray an androgynous woman.

The position of the woman tenderly holding the cat against her naked body –isn’t just another scene.

The curve of the female body goes along with the black cat while the woman’s headpiece is the epitome of the central idea.

Interestingly, you can also own this beautiful painting.

Now I am not talking in Million dollars, it can be owned at as much as $300.

Check for yourself!

Image: Pinterest by News Artnet

Cat head famous cat paintings

8. Cat Head

ArtistGeorg Baselitz
Painted In1966-1967
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationKunsthaus Zürich
Dimension163 cm x 130 cm

This is a funny scene.

An almost humanized cat dominating a small dog.

Wow! Something being painted in 1966 with such a thought is indeed progressive.

We can also see a fence in between the cat and dog too.

This typical inversion by the figurative expressionist-cum-postmodernist painter is a symbol of both ruined post-Nazi Germany as well as the debatable artistic movements within the divided country.

Image: Wikipedia

by day she made herself into a famous cat paintings by Rackham

7. By Day She Made Herself Into A Cat

ArtistArthur Rackham
Painted In1920
MediumRepetition of pen and ink
LocationNot Disclosed
DimensionNot Mentioned

It is one of the very best black cat paintings, yet again.

This famous cat painting is about a witch who turns virgins into birds and cages them.

If you have read the Hansel and Gretel stories by the Grimm brothers, you will definitely be able to relate to this painting.

It is astonishing how of all the famous black cat paintings, this one has in reality been able to demonstrate a witch-like cat.

It is all in the eyes, and if you look a little closer into her eyes, you will be able to see the anger and power.

Image: Amazon

The bridge painting by carl olof is one of the famous cat paintings

6. The Bridge

ArtistCarl Larsson (Carl Olof Larsson)
Painted In1912
LocationPrivate Collection
DimensionNot Mentioned

The painting is of a woman and her cat peeking at a man standing on the bridge.

The idea of the woman was to paint the bridge in solitude but is interrupted by a man.

Interestingly the focal point of the image remains the cat. There is an invisible thread connecting the cat and the man’s blackhead.

Most of the onlookers of this famous cat painting would want the cat to tug it so that the man can have a look at the woman.

There is a lot of curiosity prevalent in this watercolor artwork. However, at the same time, the artwork looks humorous.

Image: Pinterest, by Patricia Saunders

a girl holding a cat is one of the famous cat paintings

5. Sara Holding A Cat

ArtistMary Cassatt
Painted In1908
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationPrivate Collection
Dimension41.3 cm x 33 cm

Mary Cassatt, an American artist, was known to capture the innocence of people’s children in a way that no one else could.

She was no new to capturing cats. In fact, she was often seen capturing young girls with their kittens.

One of such cat portraits was Sara holding a cat where you can see a little girl in a pink dress, holding her cat and looking affectionately towards her.

Cassatt has a weird affinity towards capturing the innocence, purity, and affection of kids that was so difficult to capture in adults.

This possibly looks like one of those acrylic cat paintings, but one isn’t sure.

What we do know is that Mary Cassatt became an important leading figure in the Impressionist movement in the latter half of her life.

Image: Wikipedia

the cat and two sparrows famous cat paintings

4. The Cat and Two Sparrows

ArtistMarc Chagall
Painted In1952
LocationNot Disclosed
Dimension29.5 cm x 24 cm

We are aware of La Poeté by Marc Chagall but here’s another cat portrait from the same artist.

As I said, he was fond of paintings of cats which is pretty evident after this list.

Chagall was known to follow his unique style of abstract art, especially in portraying the daily world around him.

But as years passed, he found his comfort niche in cat paintings like The Cat and Two Sparrow.

This famous cat painting has used blurred lines and a warped perspective of what seems like a cat almost ready to pound on two birds.

Just waiting for them to come to a closer vicinity.

Two birds, one stone – one cat I must say!

Image: Wikimedia Commons

cook and the cat famous paintings

3. The Cook and The Cat

ArtistThéodule-Augustin Ribot
Painted In19th Century (Before 1891)
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationPrivate Collection/Not Disclosed
Dimension35 cm x 27 cm

Taken from a very regular scene The Cook and The Cat couldn’t get any realistic.

Ribot was known for his famous paintings of domestic and kitchen scenes but this cat painting has stolen all the thunder.

Is it so that the cook’s friend has given a visit or is it that he is absolutely oblivious about the cat’s plan to snatch the fish?

What do you think? Comment below.

Image: Wikipedia

barber shop cat painting is one of the famous cat paintings

2. Barber Shop with Monkeys and Cats

ArtistAbraham Teniers
Painted In1633-1667
MediumOil on Copper
Dimension24 cm x 31 cm

How bizarre can a painting get?

Well, this is one of the top famous cat paintings by Abraham Teniers that has gotten recognition.

Anthropomorphizing cats and dogs into a human-like environment have been a portrait painting trend and this cat painting surpasses all.

Now the family Teniers belonged to were known to paint villages, inns, and as logical as it may sound, monkeys.

That’s how the entire idea of painting a barber scene with two of the most unpredictable animal species caught art enthusiasts’ attention.

Monkeys have been a part of Tenier’s paintings but it is the cats that steal the show. Making the monkeys work like servants and getting ready for the weekend. Bang on!

And since we are already there…

Another anthropomorphized artwork is on the way.

Image: Wikipedia

the bachelor's party is one of the famous cat paintings

1. The Bachelor’s Party

ArtistLouis Wain
Painted In1939
MediumOil on Canvas
LocationNot Disclosed
Dimension29.5 cm x 60 cm

H.G. Wells remarked for Louis Wain, “he invented a cat style, a cat society, a whole cat world.”

Louis Wain was known to create an entire world of cats and was obsessed with them on a different level.

It is believed that Wain was probably mentally ill with schizophrenia because of which he might have caught an obsession with cats.

He was in fact elected as the president of the National Cat Club and painted anthropomorphic portraits of cats. 

He painted cat portraits for 30 years and has painted more than several hundred paintings in a year – for lovers of cat paintings.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

In Conclusion

Now that we have finally reached the end of the list, we all know how important cats have been to human civilization.

In fact, now more than ever, cats have become an indispensable part of our lives.

The tradition of honoring cats in form of cat portraits has continued. The only difference is, you do not have to pose or make your cat pose for hours to get hold of a handmade painting.

Imagine making your cat sit still. Sounds like a fairytale, right?

It is the world of technology and all you have to do is click a picture instantly.
But the problem remains that it won’t be a handmade painting.

Well, well, well…you are exactly where you need to be!

At PortraitFlip, we turn the photos of your cat into 100% handmade cat paintings.

You or your cat does not have to sit still – gone are the days!

Have a photo? Convert it into a handmade cat painting.

Cat portrait by PortraitFlip

Don’t believe us?

That’s all folks!

Let us know which one of these is your favorite famous cat painting.

If you have any concerns or questions, you can always reach out to us in the comment section below.

If you liked this article, do share it further!

And if you have reached here, thank you!


Who is the most famous cat painter?

Horatio Couldery is a British artist who is known as the most famous cat painter.

What is the most expensive piece of cat art?

The most expensive cat painting is “My Wife’s Lovers” by Carl Kahler.

How much is “My Wife’s Lovers” worth?

The painting was sold for a whopping $8,26,000 at Sotheby’s auction.

What is the largest cat painting in the world?

My Wife’s Lovers is a massive painting that weighs 227 pounds and consists of 42 cats, believed to be the world’s largest cat painting.

1 thoughts on “23 Famous Cat Paintings That Have Made History Hiss-terical!

  1. Jennifer Graham says:

    Hello there,
    Regarding The Bridge by Carl Olof Larsson: I am pretty sure the figure on the bridge is a woman, not a man.
    I love this painting and all of the cat paintings you have shown here. Thank you for a wonderful compilation of famous cats in art.

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