Arts Everyday Living: The Art of the Cat Week–Renoir’s Perfect Companions, A Woman & Kitten

Auguste Renoir, Woman with a Cat, c. 1875, oil on canvas, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin E. Levy, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

Title: Woman with a Cat

Artist: Auguste Renoir (1841-1919)

Finally, they are alone—the lovely young woman and her gray, striped cat. Or is her pet actually a kitten? Purring contentedly, wrapped affectionately within his mistress’ arms. Both enchanting us with their beauty; her rosy complexion and rich, wavy hair, his tiger-like eyes and soft, silky fur. Yet, do you find your eye lingering longer on her friend?

Few artists can capture the simple pleasures of life like Renoir, one of the greatest representatives of France Impressionism, an art movement prominent over a century ago. The bond between humans and animals was often a popular theme of the painter. Yet, Woman with a Cat is probably Renoir’s most moving and intimate interpretation of this subject.






In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

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