Susan Herbert (1945-2014, British)

cats in art at The Great CatSusan Herbert (1945-2014, British) was a prolific cat artist who was the first to insert cats into famous paintings with a distinctive style. Herbert was the inspiration for artists such as Eldar Zakirov and Svetlana Petrova’s anthropomorphic representations of cats or their insertion in great paintings. She studied at the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art, University of Oxford. Herbert authored and illustrated several books Cats Gallery of Art, Cats Gallore, The Cats History of Western Art, Diary of a Victorian Cat, Medieval Cats, Pre-Raphaelite Cats, Shakespeare Cats, Opera Cats, Impressionist Cats and Movie Cats.

Susan Herbert is considered one of the most famous cat artists in the world.  She loved art from an early age, but could not make a living from it. To pay bills, she worked at the Royal Shakespeare Company until 1973 when she was admitted to the Ruskin School of Drawing and Fine Art. Afterwards, she sketched for the English National Opera in London. This is where she was inspired to replace human figures with felines in great works of art done by Leonardo, Botticelli, Vermeer, Caravaggio, Rubens, Titian, van Eyck, David, Goya, van Gogh, Monet and many others of all ages. From great works of art, she moved on to add cats into great movie scenes as well. Herbert is internationally acclaimed for these hyper-realistic watercolors of sophisticated tabbies and tomcats in scenes borrowed from film, art, opera, ballet and even literature.

Susan Herbert, 1

During the 1980s, Herbert broadened her interests, exhibiting miniatures in the United States (1984) and producing a set of limited edition prints and cards (1989). A major exhibition of her work was held in 1990 at the Crypt Gallery, St Martin-in-the-Fields, London. Her international popularity was confirmed by a touring exhibition, which began in Tokyo in 1995.


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Susan Herbert, 12 Achilles Lamenting the Death of Patroclus Hamilton



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cats in paintings, cat art



Susan Herbert, 16 Shakespeare Cats, Much Ado about Nothing



Twelfth Night cat art, cat paintings

contemporary cat art paintings



Gone with the Wind cat art





Marilyn Monroe cat art



Napoleon cat art



Michelangelo cat art





Victoria and Albert cat art


Want to know more about the cat in literature, art and history? Then Revered and Reviled is the book for  you. Now available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. 

Revered and Reviled: A Complete History of the Domestic Cat, cat history, cats

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