“God is really only another artist. He invented the giraffe, the elephant and the cat. He has no real style, He just goes on trying other things.”
– Pablo Picasso
Arguably one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was known as much for his scandalous lifestyle as he was his art. Picasso changed art forever by co-creating Cubism with his fellow artist Georges Braque. It is estimated that Picasso created 50,000 pieces of art throughout his lifetime. His lovers, strong political beliefs, and people he saw on the streets were of great inspiration to him.
Cats were included in several of Picasso’s pieces. There isn’t much information available about whether he was a cat person or not. Apparently Picasso found cats at least interesting enough to use them in his art. His pieces depict many different attributes of cats. Below you will find 3 shinning examples of Picasso’s work with cats.
Cat Eating a Bird (1939)
Cat Eating a Bird uses both cubism and surrealism. In this painting Picasso depicts the cruelty of nature and the harsher side of cats as predators. It is also said that this could have been painted in reaction to the Nazi occupation of France (he lived in Paris at the time).
Dora Maar au Chat/Dora Maar with Cat (1941)
Dora Maar au Chat depicts Picasso’s lover sitting in an armed chair with a black cat over her shoulder. Traditionally, cats in art were symbolic of feminine prowess. The link between the woman and the cat can be seen in her long claw-like fingernails (which were known to be perfectly manicured in real life) and in Picasso’s own reference to Maar being like an afghan cat.
Le Homard et le Chat/The Lobster and the Cat (1965)
Le Homard et le Chat is full of humor and irony. The painting shows a blue lobster attacking a very frightened black cat. You have to admit, a cat being scared by seafood is pretty funny.