The Cat's Meow

A journey through the evolution of feline presence in art throughout history, from iconic sculpted representations to domestic pictures and abstract symbolism.

The subject in this artwork, the Mummified Cat, is our first example of the cultural importance of felines in society. The foundation of the subject is a mummified cat which is wrapped in linen with painted markings. The pattern principle is present in the diamonds we see on the cat’s linen wrapping. We can also see the form element within the cylindrical base of the cat. The line element is present in the thick, curved painted features of the cat’s face.
The subject of this artwork is a cat which serves as a vessel for a mummified cat. The medium is a hollowed piece of sculpted wood which contains the linen-wrapped mummified cat. The texture of the sculpture appears to be smooth. Lines are present in the finely painted features — the whiskers, eyes, nose and ears. The artwork is well balanced, and the form of the cat appears to be appropriately sized. The features of the cat’s face are symmetrical, as well as the beaded necklace painted onto its body.
The cultural influence of cats is again represented in this watercolor and graphite artwork. The subject, a cat atop a platform, is much fuller and rounder than its Egyptian counterparts. The cat appears to be domesticated based on the presence of a collar around its neck. Lines are used to show dark, embellished features on the cats face that vary greatly from Egyptian styles.
The subject of this piece is a domestic cat flashing a playful and mischievous nature as he interacts with a lantern. Movement is present through the cat’s posture. The lines of its body guides the viewer to the center of the painting. The painting also has a sense of asymmetrical balance. Although the cat and the lantern are relatively the same size, the artist painted an element of the lantern on the right side of the painting. The colors are muted and neutral with the exception of the red collar, which helps draw the viewer’s attention towards to the painting’s center. As a whole, this piece continues the theme of evolution as it begins to show more of a domestic portrayal of the cat.
The subject of this painting, a cat observing a butterfly, continues to show a gentler and more reserved representation of felines. This cat in particular shows less of its predatorily instincts and instead shows more of a passive indifference to the butterfly in the painting. The features of this cat are less prominent than those of the Egyptian, German or Japanese cat. Lines are present throughout the piece, specifically within the blades of grass.
The subject of this oil painting is a man with a domestic cat relaxing on his lap. The viewer’s focus is immediately drawn to the man’s face, but the use of lines indicates movement towards the cat resting on his lap. The colors are muted in this painting, but the vibrancy of the cat’s coat contributes to its focus. This cat is subdued and unaware of its surroundings — a large contrast from the cats previously shown.
The feline form is also present in modern street art, as depicted in this piece, where a cat is curiously eyeing birds in a tree. The emphasis and focus of the piece is the cat, whose scale is much larger than the branches and birds surrounding him. Space is present in this piece as the artist created a three-dimensional setting. The cat is between the branches and the birds sitting on top of the tree are nestled in between the leaves. The lines in the tree also create a sense of movement towards the top of the building, where movement is also present with the birds in flight.
The subject of this artwork is a cat plugging his ears. The message surrounding the cat references the impact of machines on the environment, particularly its effect on birds. The emphasis of this piece is the cat’s eyes and smile which immediately draw the viewer’s attention. Shapes are present in this piece in the enlarged eyes, nose and exaggerated scale of the cat’s smile.The painting also utilizes the natural structure of the windows to be the cat’s pupils.
The subject of this piece is a cat peering from the right side of the pillar. The features of this subject are comprised primarily of fine lines. The face is also comprised of shapes that make the cat’s eyes and nose. The colors of this piece are largely black or white, but the artist created the appearance of light shining on the subject by making the face lighter than the body.
This piece features the head of a cat with large, spaced apart eyes and little detail on his face. The cat is completely black with the exception of his yellow eyes and red nose. The cat appears to be breathing fire. The lines that create the fire lead the viewer’s eyes to move away from the cat and out to the left side of the painting, which creates a sense of leaving the image. The flames also appear to be on the eyebrows and whiskers on the right side of the image.
Credits: All media
This user gallery has been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.