Born in 1832 in Lewisham, Horatio Henry Couldery grew up to be one of the foremost animal artists of the Victorian era. Couldery, known for his attention to detail and ability to capture the expression of his animal subjects, was called “kitten” Couldery because of his many paintings of cats. Born into a large family of nine siblings, Couldery escaped an apprenticeship to a cabinetmaker to pursue his love of painting. He trained at the Royal Academy in London and exhibited his paintings at many notable galleries. His paintings were popular, and he also produced illustrations for children’s books. Even so, Couldery died in 1918 with only 250 pounds to his name. The famous art critic John Ruskin commented on Couldery’s painting ‘A Fascinating Tail’ saying that it was, “Quite the most skillful piece of … Dureresque painting on exhibition.” He later praised another of Couldery’s cat paintings, writing, “…skillful, detailed, in sympathy with a kitten’s nature, sensitive to the finest meditation and motion—unsurpassable.” Today Couldery’s works are highly collectible. Approximately 42 of his works are on view at the Glanmore National Historic Site in Belleview, Ontario, Canada.
Interested in Couldery prints and posters? Check out The Great Cat Store, Prints and Posters, 19th Century.