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The largest cat painting in existence just sold for $826,000 to an anonymous (extreme) cat enthusiast.
The large cat painting was auctioned at Sotheby’s in New York this past Tuesday. The painting weighs 227 pounds and measures 6 x 8.5 feet. The masterpeice, which features 42 cats, was commissioned by San Francisco millionaire Kate Birdsall Johnson and painted by Austrian artist Carl Kahler in 1891.
Her husband titled the cat painting “My Wife’s Lovers.” The painting was purchased by an anonymous California collector who won the bid, which started at $300,000
San Francisco millionaire Kate Birdsall Johnson might be the greatest #cat enthusiast in US history. In 1891, she commissioned Austrian artist Carl Kahler to create a large-scale painting of 42 of her 350 much-loved cats, which her husband lightheartedly titled ‘My Wife’s Lovers’. Video at link in bio! The work is on view at Sotheby’s #NYC headquarters from 30 October – 2 November, ahead of the 19th Century European Art sale on 3 November. #NationalCatDay #CatsOfInstagram #meow 😻
Johnson was quite the cat lover and purportedly owned 350 cats at one time. Her cats lived in a luxurious 3,000-acre summer home near Sonoma, California.
(click to enlarge)
Polly Sartori, head of the 19th century European paintings for Sotheby’s New York, told CBC that Kahler had sketched each one of the 42 cats individually before putting them into one portrait. She said:
“No way did 42 cats sit still to have their portrait painted.”