Henri Matise: Famous Artists Cats

Famous Artists Cats: George Meets Matisse

George With Matisse

Henri Matisse, like Gustav Klimt, Pierre Bonnard and other famous artists, loved cats.

He occasionally drew or painted them, but mostly he enjoyed their soothing company, just as you and I do.

We’re not all so different, even those of us who are not artistic geniuses.

But we can go you one better. Our cat, George, also loves Matisse.

George was our first cat, and “as everybody knows,” cats don’t know art from wallpaper.

It lacks a strong, appetite-encouraging sent. It doesn’t move or dangle strings. Therefore, cats have no interest.

Tell it to George

We hung a framed Matisse print in over an antique hutch in our dining room. George loved to jump up on the hutch. It was a good place to get off the floor and watch the world’s going on. Once in a while, he’d take a meal there.

Soon, though, we noticed him staring directly at the Matisse print. It’s an expressionist symphony of softer colors with a vase and a leafy plant playing hide and seek in a window.

George spent a lot of time staring at that print, just like a visitor in a gallery stops to really sink into the art.

More from Deborah Julian Cat Art…


We came to accept that our cat loved Matisse, just as we do. Then something extraordinary happened.

Some cats have abilities so extraordinary we find them hard to believe. Most are some sort of illusion or feline trickery. (They are good at trickery, after all.)

Cats we know have become invisible for long periods before reappearing with a “What’s the big deal?” look on their faces. Others go from one place to another in a exercise something like a quantum leap.

In other words, they go from here to there without ever being anywhere between. They leap.

Every cat we know reads minds and uses telepathy to communicate, and each is usually disappointed in the results. Fortunately, they love us anyway.

Anyway, we still found it incredible when George suddenly inserted himself in a Matisse still life.

One day, there he was, staring back at us as if he owned the colorful space full of fruits and birds flying in the background. And there he also was, sleeping like a lord on our sofa.

Sometimes, with cats, it’s best to just shake your head and accept the unexplainable truth.

George Meets Matisse found its way into Famous Artists Cats, a collection of cats in art for which there is no explanation except that cats just do astonishing things.

Want to see more? Follow this link.


Famous Artist’s Cats: Magritte and The Invisible Cat

René Magritte’s Invisible Cat: Famous Artists Cats

cat art, cat print, famous artists cats, deborah julian art
Invisible Cat by Deborah Julian
Famous Artists Cats

What artist could better inspire fresh cat art in Deborah Julian Arts inventive series, Famous Artists’ Cats than René Magritte?

Magritte’s as surprising, agile and playful as are most healthy cats.

After all, haven’t cats already mastered invisibility and quantum leaping? Born in Belgium in 1898, Magritte, after perfecting his craft as a forger during the impoverished days in Europe after World War II, painted some of the most whimsically surreal psychological mysteries at a time when what we consider modern art was being invented.

(Whimsicality is also a very common feline trait.)

In the imaginary worlds Magritte painted, business men with bowler hats drifted rigidly in space. A simple neighborhood setting was haunted at night with ungraspable foreboding. All-seeing eyes appeared.

While art lovers have always found Magritte’s paintings unsettling, cats have not.

Cats give every impression that they find surreal shenanigans to be the normal order of things among perpetually confused human beings.

Many of us assume that cats run away when we approach because they’re frightened when, in fact, it’s because they just prefer not to get involved.

This explains why cats will agree to friendship only after food they like has been introduced. Depending on the cat, a period of indefinite duration follows before you might be trusted to play with or even pet the cat.

After that, it’s a gradual transition to the point where you have a chance to give up a favorite chair because the cat likes to nap in it or even sacrifice a major section of your bed at night.

Which brings us to The Invisible Cat. In Magritte’s Invisible World, he painted a partially sculpted boulder on what appears to be a formal balcony.

In the background, gray-black clouds threaten above what appears to be a vast, misty sea. Sammy, famous, among other things, for disrupting Degas’s Hat Shop, was having none of it. His decision to curl up next to the rock for a moment of meditation was immediate.

Because such acts do not require any time to pass, Sammy quantum leaped from his favorite lounging place to Magritte’s canvas, instantly creating The Invisible Cat.

You can find more cat art inspired by great artists in Deborah Julian’s Famous Artists’ Cats, a series that includes images inspired by Van Gogh, Matisse, Degas and others.

Some examples…

David Stone
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