Cat Art and Cats through the Ages

Cat Artwork by Elegant Cats Art

Cat Artwork by Elegant Cats Art


With their sleek bodies, intelligent blue eyes, and perpetual air of aloofness, cats have long been known as a lover, not a fighter. But while cats may be the ultimate silent type, they have made their mark on art history as one of the most influential animals ever to appear in a painting.

For centuries, artists have found inspiration in our feline friends. From the playful antics of kittens to the predatory instincts of adult cats hunting mice or birds; from domestic cats lazing about inside to wild cats lurking outside in trees; from images of mythical creatures like cat-headed women or cat-men to paintings featuring real cats as subjects – there is something about these mysterious animals that continues to fascinate modern audiences.


Ancient Egypt: Cats as Religious Symbols

Cats have been a part of Egyptian culture for over 3,000 years. Originally, these furry felines were not considered pets, but rather, they were associated with death and rebirth due to their ability to hunt vermin. However, this relationship grew to encompass a religious symbolism that is still present in society today. Many ancient Egyptian gods, including Bastet, were depicted with cat-like features, and cat mummies were even discovered in King Tut’s tomb. These religious symbols were important in early art because they helped to further different ideals that were important to the culture, such as protecting the people from vermin. Cats were also used to represent the sun because of their association with the night and the brightness of their eyes.


Renaissance to Victorian Era: Cats as Fashion and Art

As Europe started to emerge from the dark ages, cats began to appear more regularly in art, often depicted as companions of the wealthy. This was an important transition in the history of cats in art, moving from religious symbols to fashion and art, showing how they were becoming more and more a part of daily life. Cats were first documented as being imported to Europe in the 15th century. These furry felines were highly prized for their ability to hunt mice and rats, and they were often imported from places like Egypt as gifts to royalty. Additionally, cats also provided warmth in the long, cold winters of Europe. Many women often wore them as accessories. Their outfits would cover their arms and legs, so that only the face was visible. They would also wear their long hair in elaborate curls to imitate the feline look and feel. This fascination with cats as fashion items continued even in art. Cats were often used in paintings to symbolize high social status and wealth. They were also depicted as companions to rich women who didn’t have children.


20th Century to Present Day: Modern Artists and Cats

As the 20th century came around, cats became even more of a staple in art. Throughout this period, we see cats being depicted in more serious and modern ways. One of the most famous and well-known pieces of art that uses a cat is Pablo Picasso’s “Blue, Green and Red”. This painting is one of his earliest Cubist works, dating back to 1901. The painting is a portrait of a woman, but it also includes a small, curious kitten. The inclusion of this kitten is significant because it shows how much cats have become a part of our culture that we often include them in our art without even thinking about it. In the late 20th century and early 21st century, we started to see a bit of a shift in the depiction of cats in art. This period saw the rise of the “Cattitudes” movement, which used cats as a way to fight animal abuse and mistreatment. Cats have also been widely used in internet art and memes, showing just how significant their presence in society has become.

Cat Artwork by Elegant Cats Art

Cat Artwork by Elegant Cats Art


As we can see, cats have had a significant impact on art throughout history. Originally used in religious symbolism, they quickly became more of a fashion accessory. With the advent of modernism, we see cats depicted in more serious and even controversial ways. From ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics to modern paintings by Picasso, cats continue to be an inspiration to artists

Cat Artwork by Elegant Cats Art

Beautiful Cat Illustration, Cat Artwork / Cat painting - inspired by Japanese art and artists as well as by Folk Art and Nature. Each cat in the Elegant Cats Art Collection has been created by myself (Ricarda), and is one of a kind.

Each cat art is available as Cat Fine Art Prints, Cat Art Canvas, as Framed Artwork or/and Cat posters.