Henriette : The Cat Painter

A cat may have proverbial nine lives, but to read her expressions, even a lifetime is not enough. True to this adage, today I am introducing a creative woman to you, who built up her entire creative career, by indulging in cat love on canvas.

Yes, she is none other than Henriette Ronner Knip, a Dutch Belgian artist born in a family of painters on 31st May 1821. Her father Josephus Augustus Knip was a talented painter, but he got blind at an early age, and the responsibility of entire family fell on Henriette’s shoulders. And, as we know today, she handled the pressure well enough, financially as well as creatively.

As I tried to read a little more about her life, I was stuck by a quote by her father. He warned her “against seeing with eyes other than her own”. The advice, indeed proved beneficial to Henriette as she relied on her inherent talent to see and exhibit emotions in mute animals.

She was a prolific painter, and usually her subjects were animals, predominantly playful, lively Cats. It is rumored that she had built an exclusive glass house to keep cats and observe them while eating, playing, fighting and grooming. She painted them alive on canvas, and though her paintings do not seem to have any metaphysical or deeper meaning, they do look appealing.

In fact, her paintings, showing the feline creatures in various interesting domestic and natural situations, soon became very popular with the rich Bourgeois class of her times. And, her career took off. Even today, these paintings have many admirers.

Her paintings are visual delight for any art and cat lover. Have a look yourself and revel in exciting kitty world 😊😊

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