Cats

Meet Famous Artists and Their Cats (Cuteness Overload)

Zuzanna Stańska 12 May 2022 min Read

So many great artists have shared one very special love: the love of cats. Here you will find 6 modern artists who loved their felines and have taken photos with them:

1. Salvador Dalí with His Pet Ocelot, Babou

artists cats, Dali and his ocelot
Salvador Dalí with his ocelot Babou, 1965. The Library of Congress, Washington, DC, USA.

In the 1960s Salvador Dalí bought a pet ocelot called Babou, which accompanied him on a leash and a studded collar nearly everywhere he went – including, famously, a restaurant in Manhattan. When a fellow diner became alarmed, he calmly told her that Babou was a normal cat that he had “painted over in an op-art design”.

2. Henri Matisse Loved His Cats: Minouche and Coussi

artists cats, Robert Capa, Henri Matisse with cat curled between his legs, working from his bed, Nice, France
Robert Capa, Henri Matisse with cat curled between his legs, working from his bed, Nice, France. The Robert Capa and Cornell Capa Archive, Gift of Cornell and Edith Capa, 1992.

In the last decade of his life, Henri Matisse suffered from cancer and spent most of his time in bed or in a wheelchair. A number of cats kept him company.

3. Gustav Klimt with Katze

artists cats, Gustav Klimt with Katze
Gustav Klimt with Katze. Pinterest.

Gustav Klimt called his cat Katze (which stands for “a cat” in German). Though the artist is not known for any artworks of cats, opting instead for female subjects, his love of his Katze is widely known.

4. Paul Klee with Kitty, Bimbo

artists cats, Paul Klee with cat and wife, Lily Stomph.
Paul Klee with cat and wife, Lily Stomph. Twitter. Detail.

Paul Klee’s love for cats started at a young age since they were always a part of his family. Years later, Klee shared his studio with his feline friend, Bimbo, a beautiful white long-haired cat who followed him everywhere. In the memoir Kandinsky and I, Nina Kandinsky remembers Klee’s love for animals.

Paul Klee adores cats. In Dessau, his cat always looked out the window in the studio. I could see him perfectly from my private room. Klee told me the cat looked at me insistently: You can’t have any secrets. My cat will tell me all.

Nina Kandinsky, Kandinsky and I. 

5. Andy Warhol and Sam

Andy Warhol with Sam.
Andy Warhol with Sam. Another Mag.

Andy Warhol loved cats. In 1954, he published a book of hand-colored lithographs titled 25 Cats Name Sam and One Blue Pussy. According to Warhol’s nephew, who published his own book Uncle Andy’s Cats in 2009, Warhol’s collection of cats began when he feared his single cat named Hester would grow lonely. After bringing home another cat, named Sam, the cat family eventually reached 25 felines, each of whom Warhol gave the same name – Sam.

6. Kandinsky and His Cat, Vaske

artists cats, Kandinsky with Vaske.
Kandinsky with Vaske. Pinterest.

Look at the positive feeling of Wassily Kandinsky when he is holding his cat, Vaske!

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