Pet Portrait

Discover the 21 Famous Cat Paintings That Have Made History

Cats have been a popular subject in art for centuries, and it’s not hard to see why. With their graceful movements, elegant features, and mysterious nature, cats have inspired some of the greatest masterpieces in the world of art. In this article, we will explore some of the most famous cat paintings of all time.

1. “The Cat” by Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter known for his imaginative portraits made up of fruits, vegetables, and other objects. In “The Cat,” he creates a playful and whimsical portrait of a cat using a variety of objects like fish, eggs, and lemons.

2. “The Blue Cat” by Franz Marc

Franz Marc was a German painter and one of the key figures of the Expressionist movement. In “The Blue Cat,” he portrays a blue cat with expressive eyes and a serene expression against a backdrop of bold, bright colors.

3. “Cat with a Mirror” by Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin

Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin was an 18th-century French painter known for his still-life paintings. In “Cat with a Mirror,” he depicts a curious cat staring intently at its reflection in a mirror, capturing the feline’s natural curiosity and playfulness.

4. “The Cat of the Louvre” by Theophile Steinlen

Theophile Steinlen was a Swiss-born French painter and printmaker known for his depictions of cats. In “The Cat of the Louvre,” he portrays a regal-looking black cat sitting atop a stone parapet overlooking the iconic Parisian museum.

5. “Study of a Cat” by Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo da Vinci was a Renaissance artist, scientist, and inventor known for his diverse talents and interests. In “Study of a Cat,” he captures the essence of the feline form with his impeccable attention to detail and mastery of light and shadow.

6. “The Cat with the Lamp” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Pierre-Auguste Renoir was a French Impressionist painter known for his vibrant and colorful paintings. In “The Cat with the Lamp,” he portrays a cat lounging on a table next to a lamp, basking in the warm glow of the light.

7. “Woman with a Cat” by Auguste Macke

Auguste Macke was a German painter known for his use of bold colors and expressive brushstrokes. In “Woman with a Cat,” he depicts a woman holding a black cat, creating an intimate and tender moment between the two subjects.

8. “The Cat I” by Franz Marc

In another famous cat painting by Franz Marc, he portrays a black and white cat sitting on a chair, staring intently out at the viewer with its piercing green eyes. The painting is simple yet striking, capturing the essence of the feline form with its bold outlines and bright colors.

9. “The Cat with Two Faces” by John Tenniel

“The Cat with Two Faces” is an illustration created by John Tenniel for Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”. The painting depicts the grinning Cheshire Cat with its body fading away, leaving only its head and tail. The Cheshire Cat is known for its mischievous personality and cryptic remarks, which adds to its mysterious allure.

10. “A Friend in Need” by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge

“A Friend in Need” is a series of paintings by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, which features dogs playing poker. However, the most iconic painting of the series features a group of dogs playing poker, while a sly-looking cat sits under the table, seemingly plotting its next move.

11. “Theophile Steinlen’s Chat Noir”

“Theophile Steinlen’s Chat Noir” is a poster created in 1896 to promote the cabaret “Le Chat Noir” in Paris. The poster features a black cat with piercing green eyes, sitting against a yellow background. The poster became an instant success and is now considered one of the most famous cat paintings in history.

12. “Portrait of Mademoiselle Dubois” by Jean-Baptiste Perronneau

“Portrait of Mademoiselle Dubois” is a painting by Jean-Baptiste Perronneau, a French portrait painter from the 18th century. The painting depicts Mademoiselle Dubois holding a white cat in her lap, which adds to the elegant and serene atmosphere of the painting.

13. “The Cat in Window” by Henri Matisse

“The Cat in Window” is a painting by Henri Matisse, a French artist known for his use of bright colors and bold shapes. The painting features a black and white cat sitting on a windowsill, looking out at the world with a sense of curiosity.

14 “Whistler’s Mother” by James McNeill Whistler

“Whistler’s Mother” is a painting by James McNeill Whistler, an American artist who spent most of his life in England. The painting depicts Whistler’s mother sitting in a chair, holding a book. In the background, a black cat can be seen sleeping on a cushion, adding a touch of warmth and coziness to the scene.

15. “My Wife’s Lovers” by Carl Kahler

“My Wife’s Lovers” is a painting by Carl Kahler, an Austrian painter from the 19th century. The painting features 42 cats, all of which belonged to Kahler’s patron, Kate Birdsall Johnson. Johnson was a wealthy philanthropist who owned a large collection of cats, and Kahler’s painting immortalized them in a single canvas.

16. “The White Cat” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir

“The White Cat” is a painting by Pierre-Auguste Renoir, a French artist known for his Impressionist style. The painting features a white cat sitting on a cushion, with its tail wrapped around its body. The cat’s fur is rendered with delicate brushstrokes, capturing its softness and beauty.

17. “The Cat with the Pearl Earring” by Johannes Vermeer

The Girl with the Pearl Earring is one of Vermeer’s most famous paintings, and this version features a playful cat perched on the shoulder of the young woman. The cat’s presence adds a touch of whimsy to the otherwise serious portrait.

18. “Cat and Bird” by Paul Klee

Klee was a Swiss-German painter known for his colorful, abstract works. This painting features a stylized cat staring at a bird perched on a branch. The bold colors and geometric shapes make this a striking work of art.

Also Read: How to get the perfect pet portrait painting: The Ultimate Pet Lover’s guide!

19. “The Scream” by Edvard Munch

While this painting is not specifically about cats, the iconic figure in the foreground has become known as the “cat-scream.” Munch’s use of color and form creates a sense of unease and tension, making this one of the most famous paintings in history.

20. “Cat on a Windowsill” by Édouard Manet

Manet was a French painter known for his modern, sometimes controversial works. This painting features a black cat perched on a windowsill, staring out at the world. The simplicity of the composition creates a sense of peacefulness and calm.

21. “The Cats of Ulthar” by H.P. Lovecraft

While not a painting, Lovecraft’s short story has become a beloved work of fiction among cat lovers. The story revolves around a town where it is forbidden to harm cats, and the consequences of breaking this rule. The cats in the story are portrayed as powerful and mysterious creatures


These are just a few of the most famous cat paintings of all time, each capturing the essence of the feline form in its own unique way. From playful and whimsical to serene and contemplative, these masterpieces showcase the versatility and beauty of cats in art.

In conclusion, we hope this article has provided you with some insight into the world of cat paintings and the artists who created them. Whether you’re a cat lover or an art enthusiast, these famous cat paintings are sure to captivate and inspire you with their timeless beauty and elegance.

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