From Kahlo to Picasso to Rockwell to Banksy, pets are a popular subject for artists around the world. Dating back to the stone ages, humans love drawing, painting and sculpting cats and dogs. But what are the most famous artworks featuring pets? Read on to find out!
“Luncheon of the Boating Party” by Pierre-Auguste Renoir
Impressionism enthusiasts adore Renoir – and for good reason. Luncheon of the Boating Party is an excellent study of light. One can practically hear the clinking of glasses when viewing this painting. And in the foreground? A black Scottish Terrier. Gotta love it.
“A Friend in Need” by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge’s “Dogs Playing Poker” series is quite possibly the most famous artwork – and certainly the most kitschy – on this list. We asked art lovers for ideas for this article, and even the most sophisticated art history scholars said that they couldn’t think of pets in art without thinking of a group of dogs playing poker. And why not? Art has no rules and neither does this article!
“Le Chat Noir” by Théophile Steinlen
Surely 50% of people going through college hung this poster in their apartment at one point or another. Le Chat Noir by Théophile Steinlen isn’t exactly traditional art, but this iconic poster still merits a spot on this list. Le Chat Noir, French for “Black Cat” was thought to be the the first modern cabaret. This poster was conceived in 1896 and urged folks to attend this Parisian nightclub.
“Balloon Dog” by Jeff Koons
Koons’ detractors argue his work is tacky, but we enjoy the playfulness of “Balloon Dog.” It brings us a sense of wonderment and nostalgia so haters to the left, thank you very much.
“A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by George Seurat
Easily one of the most famous pointilism paintings, A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte also features multiple dogs. Pointilism is a type of painting composed of many tiny dots. This famous painting uses the technique to depict a relaxed scene next to the River Seine in Paris. Painted in 1884 by Seurat, the work later became the basis for the Broadway musical “Sunday in the Park with George” by Stephen Sondheim and James Lapine. The original cast featured acting legend, Mandy Patinkin, as Georges Seurat himself.
Any fellow art and pet fans out there? What are your favorite works featuring dogs or cats? Follow us on Facebook and let us know!