Marguerite Gérard became famous for producing oil paintings and etchings under the unofficial apprenticeship of her brother-in-law, Jean-Honoré Fragonard (1732-1806), a famous Rococo artist. Perhaps it was Fragonard who influenced Gérard in the inclusion of cats in her paintings, as he himself was known to paint portraits of women with cats. Gérard never married possibly preferring to devote her life to her art. Even though she turned down a place in the prestigious Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture, she is best known for her intimate domestic scenes for which she earned three medals. One of the leading women artists in France at the time, she also exhibited her works at the Paris Salon from 1799-1824, when women were finally allowed to exhibit alongside their male counterparts. Moreover, both Napoleon and Louis XVII purchased her paintings making her a popular artist amongst the upper class. Gérard’s style is visibly influenced by the Dutch genre painters of the 17th century and in particular Gabriel Metsu (1629-1667), who also added wiley felines to his canvases.