Adolf Richard Fleischmann (1892-1968, German)

Adolf Richard Fleischmann, cat artistAdolf Richard Fleischmann (1892-1968, German) was an abstract painter born in Esslingen am Neckar to a middle class family. He studied art at the Kunstgewerbeschule in Stuttgart and continued his studies at the Royal Academy of Arts.

In 1914, he was drafted into the military and after just a few months was seriously wounded at the Eastern front and sent home.

Fleischmann found odd jobs as an illustrator until 1921 when he participated in an exhibition. It was clear that his works were inspired by Franz Marc and other Expressionists, and just like Franz Marc, he seemed to find the feline a great subject. Later he turned more to Cubism as an influence.

Adolf Fleischmann Esslingen 1892 - 1968 Stuttgart Drei Katzen Late 1920s

Drei Katzen, 1920’s


To avoid confrontation with the Nationalist Socialists, he moved to France. During WWII he aided the Resistance, and consequently, he was imprisoned several times, but managed to escape in 1940. When he was able to return to Paris, he found that many of his works had been destroyed and he said, “I experienced a nervous breakdown.”

Adolf Richard Fleischmann, Vier Katzen

Vier Katzen


In 1952, he emigrated to the US. Because of his embarrassment of being German, he started signing some of his works without his first name ‘Adolf”.

Fleischmann designed posters, magazine titles, wallpaper, fabrics and even towels for Dior.

Fleischmann’s works are geometrical and he primarily used basic colors of black, brown, grey, blue for his cats.  

Adolf Richard Fleischmann, Four Cats

Four Cats

After a stroke in 1965, Fleischmann returned to Stuttgart where he continued to produce art until his death in 1968. He is buried at the Ebershaldenfriedhof in Esslingen.


Cat, Fish and Ball, Adolf Richard Fleischmann

Cat, Fish and Ball


Girl and Cat, Adolf Richard Fleischmann

Girl and Cat



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





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