This painting of 42 cats is expected to fetch over $300,000 at auction
In 1891, Mrs Kate Johnson, possibly America’s greatest cat enthusiast, commissioned artist Carl Kahler to paint a portrait of some of her 350 cats (42 in all) who all lived in great luxury in her California home. This monumental work – ‘My Wife’s Lovers’ – will be an important highlight of Sotheby’s 19th Century European Art sale on November 3rd in New York.
"According to Sotheby’s auctioneers in New York, Johnson was a millionaire who adored cats, particularly Persian and Angora breeds. Her house was home to 350 cats in her 3,000-acre summer residence, Buena Vista, located near Sonoma, California. Her feline companions were cared for by a troop of servants and each cat had a name," Matthew Tucker reports.
"Kahler spent three years sketching the cats and learning their personalities and habits. The painting, described in the Sotheby’s catalogue as “One of the finest cat pictures in the world”, was supposedly given the title My Wife’s Lovers by Johnson’s long-suffering husband."
The cat in the center of this masterpiece is Sultan, one of Kate's favorites.
"Mrs. Johnson found [Sultan] irresistible and paid $3,000 for him during a trip to Paris. ‘He attracted her fancy, but she was told that he was not for sale. She asked what his value was, and then offered twice the amount, and brought Sultan home with her. He is a big, handsome cat, with a tawny brown coat with splashes of yellow in it and a white breast, and large green eyes.’" —Harley Davis, author of Kahler, the Cat Painter.
This painting is expected to fetch over $300,000 dollars at auction!
Sheesh. That can buy a lot of fany feast.
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