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Cats in Art

Desmond Morris



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Reaktion Books
01 October 2017
ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Renowned zoologist Morris turns his attention to the relationship humans have with cats, specifically as inspiration for artists. This superbly illustrated book starts with the earliest representation (a rather marvellous Palaeolithic rock carving), looks at the cat as hunting companion in Egyptian times, pest controllers in Rome, medieval companions, purveyors of satanic connotations, status symbols and figures transformed by artists no longer bound
to realism once photography took hold. A beautiful gift for any cat-lover! Lindy Jones


The cat has been a favourite subject of artists across cultures from prehistory until the present day.

A spectacular 7,000-year-old rock engraving in Libya shows the oldest catfight in feline art; Babylonians believed that the souls of priests were escorted to paradise by a helpful cat; Pablo Picasso was known to have loved cats and often portrayed them as savage predators, while Victorian cats were shown in loving family groups with mothers caring for their playful kittens. 

Today, the cat is one of the most popular domestic pets on the planet and feline art is hugely popular across the world.

In this eye-catching book, bestselling author Desmond Morris tells the compelling story of cats in art, tracing its history from ancient rock paintings and spectacular Egyptian art to the work of Old Masters, modernist representations, and cartoons, as well as Naive and Outsider art. Morris weaves illuminating stories with specially selected images that have rarely been seen before.

Anyone who has a pet cat, or a fascination for our feline companions, will enjoy this beautifully illustrated book.
By:   Desmond Morris
Imprint:   Reaktion Books
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 250mm,  Width: 190mm, 
ISBN:   9781780238333
ISBN 10:   1780238339
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   01 October 2017
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Hardback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Desmond Morris is a world-renowned zoologist and television presenter, and the author of many bestselling books on human and animal behaviour. He has written four books in Reaktion's Animal series.

Reviews for Cats in Art

Cats in Art isn't really so much of an 'art book' as it is a book about cats in general, with an emphasis on society's changing ideas about felines and anecdotal stories about artists and their experiences with cats. . . . Morris writes in a warm, informative way with his enthusiasm and knowledge about his subjects clearly on display. --PopMatters Emphasizes the rich variety of cat images in art history, from a 7,000-year-old Libyan carving of cats fighting to Ronald Searle's cartoon cats. Featuring 130 reproductions, Cats in Art explores the various manifestations and meanings behind the feline motif in art history. . . . The book's scope encompasses not only Western art but also tribal art from pre-Columbian Latin America, art from India and Japan, and contemporary Malaysian wall murals of the 101 Lost Kittens Project. Morris strikes a perfect balance between scholarly information and pop culture history, and, as a result, this book will appeal to cat lovers and art historians alike. --Publishers Weekly Stick with me like fur to black pants as I jump into the list like a cat into an empty cardboard box. . . . For a more sophisticated look at our feline friends, there's no better place to start than Morris's Cats in Art. This book is organized by time period, starting with prehistoric depictions of cats on cave walls in France and continuing through Warren Kimble and beyond. All but two of the 137 illustrations are in full color, which really brings the cats to life. Don't miss the hidden gem at the back of the book: a three-page bibliography of sources of more kitty information. --The Cat Lady Daily Herald, Best Books of 2017

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