Women and Cats in Art

There is a strong link between women, girls and cats. In fiction, for instance, women are frequently described as cats (and also as birds).

Then there’s the witch link between women and cats, who are thought to be witches’ familiars. During the witch craze, a small proportion of men were also tried for witchcraft, but the modern witch archetype is an old woman who sometimes transmogrifies into a beautiful young woman in order to trick men or to test them.

Then there’s the modern dismissive archetype of the ‘crazy cat lady’, for which there is no male counterpart.

Below are some artworks celebrating the relationship between women, girls and their cats.

Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (1888-1960)
Ida Rentoul Outhwaite (1888-1960)
Traditional costume from the island of Schokland in Overijssel, 1857, Ruurt de Vries, after Jan Braet von Uberfeldt, after Valentijn Bing, 1857
Traditional costume from the island of Schokland in Overijssel, 1857, Ruurt de Vries, after Jan Braet von Uberfeldt, after Valentijn Bing, 1857
'My Lady's Chamber' by Walter Crane 1900 The frontispiece for The Baby's Bouquet cat
‘My Lady’s Chamber’ by Walter Crane 1900 The frontispiece for The Baby’s Bouquet cat
Adrej Belle
Adrej Belle
Adrienne Ségur (1901-1981), French children's book illustrator. My Big Book of Cat Stories, 1967
Adrienne Ségur (1901-1981), French children’s book illustrator. My Big Book of Cat Stories, 1967
Paul Binnie Elise's Cat 1967
Paul Binnie, Elise’s Cat, 1967
Adriaan Bontebal, dichter
Adriaan Bontebal, dichter
Carl Larsson, kunstenaar, brita, en katt och en smorgas, Brita, A Cat and a Sandwich
Carl Larsson, kunstenaar, brita, en katt och en smorgas, Brita, A Cat and a Sandwich
Suzanne Valadon (1865 - 1938) Woman with Cat
Suzanne Valadon (1865 – 1938) Woman with Cat
William Henry Gore - Teasing the Cat
William Henry Gore – Teasing the Cat
Japanese, 1927
Japanese, 1927