David Hockney (1937- , British)

David Hockney, cats in artThe British painter, draughtsman, printmaker, stage designer and photographer David Hockney is known as one of the most popular artists of the 20th century. Shortly after graduating from the Royal College of Art in London in 1962, he traveled to California and gained notoriety for his painting A Bigger Splash (1967) as well as a series of paintings depicting swimming pools. Even though not a cat-lover per se, as many more of his works focus on his dachshunds, one of his most famous paintings includes a cat named Percy. The painting Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy completed between 1970-71, portrays Ossie Clark, a fashion designer and Celia Birtwell, a textile designer, both friends of Hockney along with their cat Blanche. The cat, one of two owned by Celia, was given the name of the other cat, Percy, because Hockney thought it sounded better in the work’s title. Several symbols in the painting indicate that Birtwell is the dominate partner in the relationship such as the position of the figures in the Arnolfini Portrait hanging on the wall, and the lilies near Birtwell which symbolize female purity.  The white cat (Blanche) seated on Clark’s lap reflects envy and infidelity. Hockney had known of Clark’s infidelity to Birtwell and reflected it in the work. The Clark’s marriage eventually ended in 1974. Today Hockney lives in both London and Los Angeles and continues his experimentation by composing images on Ipads.

Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy 1970-71 Tate Gallery, cats in art, cat paintings

Mr. and Mrs. Clark and Percy
Tate Gallery


A black cat leaping (The Boy Who Left Home to Learn Fear) Hockney Illustrates the Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

A Black Cat Leaping (The Boy Who Left Home to Learn Fear) David Hockney Illustrates the Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm


cat sculpture, d. hockney,


Hockney Earthenware Cat 1955, cats in art, cat statues

Earthenware Cat


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



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