It’s no secret that cats rule the internet today, but now they’re making big waves in the fine art world, too!
An enormous painting featuring 42 cats was auctioned off at Sotheby’s in New York for $826,000 – more than double it’s expected price of $300,000. The painting, entitled”My Wife’s Lovers,” weighs 227 pounds and measures 6 x 8.5 feet. It was commissioned by Kate Birdsall Johnson and painted by artist Carl Kahler in 1893.
42 cats is a lot – but that’s just a small fraction of the 350 furry friends owned by the San Francisco millionnaire, Johnson, who commissioned the painting and had an entire staff on her 3,000 acre farm solely to care for her cats. In fact, after her death, she left a stipend of $500,000 for their continued care.
Interestingly, the artist Carl Kahler had never painted a single cat before he was hired for this painting. To prepare, he drew several sketches of each of the cats to familiarize himself with their individual personalities. Sotheby’s estimates the huge painting took about 3 years to complete!
In 1949, Cat Magazine referred to “My Wife’s Lovers” as “the world’s greatest painting of cats.”
Sotheby’s hasn’t released the name of the painting’s buyer, but it’s safe to assume that person also loves cats!